Why Michigan should allow Study Halls

Mila Koivula, Asst Editor


According to brookings.edu, the average teen spends three and a half hours on homework each night (that is, if they aren’t in honors or AP classes, which often assign more homework), which sounds like a lot. Right?

Most teens have extra-curricular activities like jobs, athletics or the arts that take up several hours of the day. This means that many students don’t get home until between 6 or 7 p.m. By the time they eat, shower and talk to their families, it is already eight thirty.

In order to get the recommended 8-to-10 hours of sleep, a student would have to be in bed and asleep between 8 and 10 p.m. Where is the three and a half hours of homework going? Certainly they can’t do it tomorrow in class. So, many teenage sacrifice the sleep needed in order for their brains to develop, and to do homework–that doesn’t seem right.

However, there is an easy solution to this issue, without having to cut out extra curricular activities, a job or having some form of a social life.

The best answer is a study hall, a dedicated hour for both students and teachers to get extra work done, that could be offered as an elective for all four years. Given that many students try to get their language and physical education credits out of the way freshman and sophomore years, it is more likely that mostly juniors and seniors will be in study halls.

Juniors, who have the highest academic workload with standardized testing, college admissions and many high-level classes can benefit greatly from this decision. Even if jobs, sports or other activities aren’t included, it’s a large load to carry, especially for 16 and 17-year-olds.

The world of college admissions has gotten more and more competitive in recent years. High schoolers are always looking at how many AP and Honors classes they can take until they drop. These stressed students will pile on the workload in order to get into good colleges. Hours of homework and extracurricular activities later, and there is barely anytime to sleep, eat or even breathe.

A small break every Wednesday like Milford has with seminars, is not enough for most teens. A class offered for 10th, 11th and 12th graders would help immensely. Just an hour a day could help these students completely turn around their lives during these critical years of development. An hour to get homework done in advance, or work ahead and just relax, could ease the stress of school on students. On the whole, an optional study hall for those who need or want one could change a lot.

While some contend that students could abuse this time, it happens every Wednesday in seminars here at Milford. Why would a class be added so students could use it to avoid work, and not do anything? If they aren’t doing anything, it no longer is a useful class.

Although this may be true, the leg up it would give to the students who need it so desperately outweighs other kids’ decisions to waste time. That’s why in a study hall, students would be graded on doing work and completing tasks., rather than it being a free-for-all.

A study hall may seem like a waste of time to much of the staff, but it would give the teacher an hour to prepare and have extra time to get their work done too.

Even teachers can get overwhelmed by their workload, so a study hour would be advantageous to them as well. Even so, they aren’t the students. The students are the ones who should decide if they want an extra hour for work, to get homework done, work ahead, or simply relax if they have time.

With everything high school students have to deal with, the pressures of getting into college, their classes, jobs, sports, extracurricular activities, and the stress of a social life, not to mention family duties, it adds up to a lot. Most students can barely remember to take care of themselves, so what harm could an hour a day do to them? Nothing, it could only help them stay organized and healthy mentally. After all, teenagers today are under a lot of pressure. So an hour to sort that all out and keep balance in their life to stay mentally stable, can’t be a bad idea for them. So the question to ask is, why not?