School coursework – too much, too young?

School coursework - too much, too young?

UK school and college coursework… Is it fair? Or a case of too much, too young?

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: just another kid complaining about their homework. Typical. The thing is, maybe kids aren’t just being stubborn anymore. Maybe we’ve got a point. Maybe homework is going too far.

I mean, yes, okay, children need to “learn independently”, and college students need to get their coursework done, because there isn’t enough time in the lessons. But surely that’s a sign that there’s too much to get done, and deadlines need to be lengthened, or better still, the amount of work needs to be reduced, putting an emphasis on quality rather than quantity. Being a college student myself, I spend most of the day surrounded by stressed out teens at the end of their tether, and instead of chilling out in the friendly atmosphere the college tries to create, we sit there anxiously, wondering if we can finish one more bit of work before our next lesson. A lot of my friends have dropped out of college, or are planning to, because they can’t handle it anymore, and those who have held on walk around as if they’re trying not to explode.

For me, fitting in all the work isn’t the biggest problem. The problem for me is that in order to get it done, I have to miss out on social events and days out with my friends – and usually when this happens, the work still doesn’t get done for a while because I’m busy sulking about it (which in my opinion is the attitude you should expect from a hormonal teenager). I know my grades are going to benefit me in future, and we have to put in the effort (which we do, don’t get me wrong), but I also know that when I’m an old woman, looking back on my life, I’m not going to think Oh, yes, I used to get all my homework done. What an amazing time I had. I’m going to look back on the time I spent with my friends and family, and the fun we had when we weren’t busy working our brains out. My priority in life right now is having as much fun as I possibly can, because you’re only 16 once.

Another thing bothering me is that it’s all fine and dandy for people who know what they want to do, like people who want to be doctors are planning on working hard, passing their exams and going to university. They know where they’re headed. But for people like me, who have absolutely no idea what they want to do, there just isn’t any motivation. I can’t afford the cost of uni, and other than my passion for writing stories, I don’t know what career I want to get into. But how am I supposed to decide when I’m too busy studying to fit in any work experience? Some people manage it fine, but some of us need some time to chill out, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day for that. We need some freedom, gosh darn it!

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