SACO — Wake up. If you can. Get dressed. HURRY. You slept in because you were up until 2 a.m. doing homework again.

Get in your car. Do you have time for a coffee? No. Hurry inside – you have some things to finish for first block. Go to class. Sit through two 80-minute classes. Do you eat lunch today? No, you have too much homework. Sit through one more 80-minute class and you’re done.

Do you go home or nap in your car before work? Nap. It’s only four hours. You can make it. Only 30 minutes left at your job. Push through the exhaustion and back pain.

Hurry home – you don’t have time to waste, and you have homework to do. Can you finish before 3 a.m.? Maybe.

Sleep. Wake up three hours later. Start it all over again.

For many teens, their lives in high school are consistently filled with stress. As a teenager in high school, I have witnessed and experienced the cause and effect of the immense amount of high school stress. From classes to homework to tests to quizzes, it doesn’t stop.

If you are in a school with six classes a day and each teacher gives you what they say is “30 minutes” of homework, then you have three hours of homework to do. However, most of the time this is not the case. Homework can take you anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, and if you are in Advanced Placement or Honors classes that require a lot of time, the workload can be five or six hours of homework a night.

There are days I have had so much work, I don’t sleep. When this starts to happen, you start to get depressed, overstressed and exhausted. This is the time when other people can see the effects in your behavior, attitude and performance

When a high-stress homework load and school in general consume you, it becomes hard to find time for fun, which can help relieve stress and make you happier. You become more depressed by the fact that you’re missing out on a fun activity because you had class or have been doing homework, because the stress consumes you. Students need time for an outlet for their stress, whether it is with sports, art, writing or anything else they enjoy.

Homework is not the only cause of this. When senior year rolls around, college becomes a priority for most students. For some, it’s only one application and they are done; some commit to a school for a sport, and some don’t go to college.

But for others the process involves many applications with essays and personal questions due at the same time. Then, after applications, it’s the financial aid forms, then the scholarship applications. And while they’re worrying about all this, they also have to do the five hours a night of homework.

I am not the only person this happens to. Millions of high school students who strive for a good education and try to excel in life are affected each year.

My purpose for writing this is not for people to feel pity for every high school student. There are the ones who do not try and do not excel and don’t have to consider how to deal with the stress. Those people I envy.

To just not worry about the presentation that you have to do tomorrow, on top of the project, and the essay, and don’t forget about the vocabulary quiz … I wonder: What is it like?

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