Vittoria Di Meo
As a result of the pandemic, the transition to Grade 9 for some students was challenging in comparison to previous years. While some observe that Grade 9 presents more freedoms, such as having off campus lunch, others also noted the added responsibility of a different workload.
Sage Saunders (’24) said the end of Grade 8 prepared her for high school regardless of the fact that it concluded with distance learning.
“Distance learning encouraged a lot of people to take charge of their own education and to take charge of their own work ethic,” she said.
On the other hand, Nicholas Farinola (’24) said Grade 8 did not set him up for success in high school.
“We should be given more homework in eighth grade,” he said. “Maybe it’s because of COVID, but I don’t feel like we were prepared very well for the workload in high school.”
Sara Khan (’24) said she developed a helpful strategy to deal with having more work, such as taking a break as soon as she gets home and also taking occasional breaks while doing her homework.
Saunders had a different approach when handling the amount of homework high school teachers have given out throughout the year.
“I have a checklist in my mind of things that I need to get done,” she said. “If I have three smaller assignments and one big one, I want to get those three smaller assignments done the day that they’re due, so I don’t have to work on them anymore.”
However, Saunders said she does recognize the increase in workload compared to what the Middle School gave.
“Teachers say, ‘We want you to spend 45 minutes on this project,’ but it’s not possible to do at the quality they’re expecting in that amount of time,” she said.
In a study conducted by Mollie Galloway from Lewis and Clark College, it was discovered that students who spend more time doing homework tend to be more anxious. Applying this to ASL freshman students Jack Henry Richman (’24) said that students this year are more anxious due to the fact that they are now in high school, which will be a factor in determining the future colleges students will attend.
“There’s more work and it’s more important that we do well on it,” he said. “When we’re in middle school as long as we pass that’s fine because it’s not going to affect us getting into college.”
Moreover, Saunders said she has concerns about how academic pressure impacts students’ wellbeing and future.
“High school has affected my mental and physical health because in high school everything you do matters,” she said, “It’s all going on a transcript and it’s going to be seen by colleges.”
Farinola had other concerns regarding his physical health.
“Sometimes I have a lot of work and can’t get to my football practices, which has been something I have to deal with and I didn’t have to last year,” he said.
Saunders said she felt much better when she doesn’t have homework, such as when she gets her work done in class or during certain religious holidays.
“Just made my day because I feel so much lighter, I have less stuff to do,” she said.