Commentary: High School Pressures Across Generations

Commentary: High School Pressures Across Generations

7:59pm Jul 08, 2016
Radio 101 commentator, Amber Moser, talks to her grandmother about how the pressures on high school students have changed over the years.
Lopa Shah

Many high school students complain that getting into college is harder than ever. From unrereasonable amounts of homework to the demands of college admissions officers, teens are feeling the pressure. But is it really harder for their generation than it was for previous ones? Radio 101 commentator, Amber Moser, discussed this question with her grandmother, Sherrie Cleveland.

Amber says an overwhelming amount of homework is a reality for most students. The National Education Association endorses the 'ten-minute rule' for homework. The rule recommends that students get ten minutes of homework for every grade level. A first grader should have 10 minutes of homework, while a twelfth grader like Amber should receive 120 minutes of homework. But one study found students are spending double that time on homework, starting in kindergarten.

Her grandmother, Sherrie, agrees that Amber has more homework than older generations. But she also thinks students have more distractions. She points out that Amber spends a lot of time on social media in contrast to Sherrie's own childhood. Sherrie says, "When I was growing up, my world was just my neighborhood."

In addition to her homework, Amber says she's in a leadership position for three extracurricular activities and works twenty hours a week at a country club. She claims that juggling all of her responsibilites is not easy. But her grandmother thinks it's a matter of prioritizing. Sherrie tells Amber, "I don’t think you have too much going on. I think it’s a matter of using your time wisely, and maybe you get distracted with things that take quality time away from things that are more important."

Amber says if she had more quality time, she would hang out with friends and go to dinners and parties. She adds that she might even try to pick up a few extra shifts at work to save money for her college fund.