Study Hall: Hard Work or Hindrance?

The great debate about study hall and if it’s really worth it

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Lauryn Rhodes

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Study Hall: Hard Work or Hindrance?

It’s no secret that the average teenager is under a lot of pressure. After spending hours shifting from class to class at school, students are expected to go home and dedicate even more of their time to school-related work – which takes up three and a half hours on average according to the Los Angeles Times. And that’s after dinner, showering, and planning things out for the next day. It’s important to note that students who have jobs or participate in extracurriculars like sports, theatre, and other various clubs don’t get home until even later, and therefore, automatically have less time to do their assignments. Students must also balance the heavy burden of homework with time spent with their friends and family, and most importantly, sleep. To say the least, maintaining good grades, all while trying to maintain a social life and finding time to relax can become stressful for high schoolers.

Lucky for students today, there are a number of solutions that help to alleviate the strain and pressure that come alongside school. One of these is study hall, an elective dedicated to giving students time to study and complete classwork in the hopes that they will have less to do when they get home after a long day. While it sounds extremely beneficial, some wonder if the class is really as helpful as it sounds. But why?

The most obvious and common worry about study hall is that students who enroll in the class won’t use the time they’ve been given wisely. Due to procrastination, distraction, pure laziness, or all of the above, it is true that some students sign up for the course and complete little to no work during the time. This, of course, defeats the purpose of this elective entirely.

“After sitting through classes without being able to talk, it’s easy to understand how by the time someone gets to study hall the last thing they want to do is work,” said Gracie Dark, junior.

It could also be argued that the Academic Hub, where study hall is held, doesn’t hold the best atmosphere in terms of accomplishing schoolwork. With access to technology, the ability to sit with friends, and the supervision from just one teacher, it’s not difficult for students to get off track, and it’s even harder to get back on it.

“You’re supposed to do the work [during study hall], so that you have more time to relax later,” said Annie Wood, freshman. “That’s the whole point of the class. If you don’t do homework, then you’re just wasting your time.”

However, not all students spend an entire study hall period doing nothing. While this course has little to no impact on the amount of work a student might have if they choose to be unproductive, the opposite effect can be seen for someone who chooses not to take this precious time for granted.

“If you don’t have any time to spare after school, study hall can actually be really useful,” said Grace Dempsey, senior.

When students buckle down and decide to use their time wisely, it is possible to get a lot done. High schoolers can win back one or two hours of their night which would have otherwise been spent doing homework. With this extra time they can get an extra hour of much-needed sleep, eat dinner with their family, or work on the many other ambitions present in their lives, such as college applications for seniors or studying for the ACT for juniors.

By the time busy students are done with clubs and sports, teachers have left school and the math center is closed. Not being able to get help on confusing topics can heavily impact a student’s grade, and this is often out of his or her control. This marks another great reason why study hall can be beneficial to students. The hour not only gives them the chance to knock out an hour of school work but also provides them with the ability to accomplish tasks they wouldn’t be able to after school – like visiting teachers or going to the math center.

“Being able to meet with teachers to clear up topics I’m confused about saves so much time because I don’t have to try and figure out how to do my homework when I get home. I can just start and finish it [during study hall],” said Hope Burkey, senior.

Both sides of the study hall debate make valid points. However, I find those in favor of the class to be more convincing. School is stressful and time-consuming, and I believe that it should be okay for students to take a break from their busy schedules during the day and have a little downtime during the class. Study hall really can be a time for stressed-out students to both regroup and reset in order to stay motivated and interested in their other classes throughout the day. Even more reason why the class is beneficial, it gives students space to complete tasks and focus if they so choose, which can be challenging for some to find the time to do when they get home. To me, the pros of study hall far outweigh the cons. If the class helps even a small amount of the students who take it, it is worth it and should be kept around.

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