Stop and take a break

Riley Shankman, asst. opinions editor

Staring at my blinking cursor at one in the morning, my eyes fog over and my head falls closer to the desk as exhaustion sweeps over me. I know that I can’t go to sleep until I finish all my homework. 

I want to quit.

I know I should not give up, at least “not until I’ve truly tried”. But what if I had been trying? What if I stayed up until two in the morning trying? Yet my blank screen continues to taunt me as the minutes pass, silently screaming at me to finish my homework. I sit contemplating what I was supposed to do, not realizing that sometimes the only option is to stop and go to bed. 

The reality is that continuing to push forward, despite how tired and stressed I am, would only create more trouble. 

As nice as it would be to stay up all night to cram for that quiz tomorrow, running on copious amounts of coffee, that is just not possible. 

We are high school students, not superheroes with the strength to balance a million tasks at once. Students need  time to reset between the chaos of school, work, sports, and other activities. As necessary as it may seem to be as involved as possible or to always have something going on, I am here to tell you that is simply not healthy. 

As I started the school year, I tried to branch out into new activities thinking I could be the superhero who balanced it all with a smile on her face. I took on new clubs, responsibilities, and a job on top of the chaos that is junior year. While I thought I could handle it all, I soon realized that was not the case. 

Exhausted and defeated, I gave up more and more of the time that it took to be human for my superhero alter-ego. I became a tired burnt-out husk who never had more than a few hours of sleep and drank more coffee than water. Yet I thought I could keep going, when each day I grew more tired.  

The sad part is that I thought it was normal for high schoolers to feel stressed and overwhelmed. This is high school, after all. It should be hard. I thought that it was normal to be pulling all-nighters before a big test, come home late on school nights, or skip lunch to cram in the library. I had become the villain of my own story and orchestrated my own downfall. 

While stress is considered a part of high school, stress is not supposed to make up the entirety of high school. 

High school is a time to have fun with your friends and try new things before you get older. Remember we are still young and as important as schoolwork may seem, in the scope of life, the five points on an assignment are meaningless. 

Prioritize taking a break from homework, in order to rest and recharge from the day. While it may seem important to stay up trying to finish your assignments, our health and sanity pay the price, and they are much more important than a few extra points that can be made up later.

So use this as a friendly reminder to STOP and take a break, because we all need one.