Teenagers often like to say that they “don’t have time”, while simultaneously wasting their hours away. They like to believe that they are so busy, when in reality they are the most indolent, idle, and shiftless of all the age groups. They have so much potential and opportunity, yet they take none of it. Instead, they lay around watching their Netflix and live up to none of their expectations.
Teens should be focusing on family, and school, and sports, and clubs, and college and applications, and personal growth; it’s not too much to expect. When compared to adults handling jobs, families, finances, and personal lives, these responsibilities we place on students are miniscule. When interviewing a typical high school student, it is astonishing how little they are able to accomplish. They roll lazily out of bed every morning to take easy classes and do minimal work to achieve their grades, which usually average out to B’s. It boggles the mind how these students are not able to get straight A’s, since they don’t have much else they are working on. At a staggering low, only just above 55% of students play a sport. What else are they doing with their time? Students need to be following more rigorous schedules, keeping up with every aspect of life that they need to in order to prepare for adulthood.
Here is a sample of what students should be doing every day:
- It is essential that students wake up and have enough time to get properly dressed, packed, and eat a healthy breakfast. This should take about an hour to get ready for school, from 6:00-7:00 AM, depending on school start time.
- Students should arrive at least an hour early to campus to conference with their teachers, from 7:00-8:00. It is important to keep a dialogue with each teacher and clarify anything that is unclear.
- Students should come to each class prepared and fully alert. The homework should be done for each class, and students should participate in class by asking at least two questions and contributing to the discussion. These classes should consist of only AP courses, as that is the best preparation for college.
- At lunch, students should eat a full, healthy meal. They should maintain a healthy social status by eating with friends and forming study groups or attending club meetings.
- After school is the most under-utilized time of day for most teenagers. They should have some club or activity after school, like a sport or student council. This should take anywhere from one to three hours, taking up the time from 3:10-6:00, and they are expected to obtain a leadership position by their junior or senior years.
- Students should also maintain a job most days of the week to earn money for their incoming college debt. They should work a shift of approximately three hours daily to maintain a part-time job. In lieu of this, they could work for free gaining volunteering hours for college. Regardless of a job, they should still be volunteering on a weekly basis for about five hours. This is essential to their success in college applications.
- After they get home form their job or volunteer work, students must get directly to their homework. Working both efficiently and effectively, students must spend about an hour per subject, starting by reviewing their notes and then moving on to studying and completing assignments. They should then spend an hour reviewing for their various AP exams, doing practice problems and creating a comprehensive guide for themselves. They should be done with this at about 7:00, or before dinner time.
- Another essential thing that students must do in the evening is cooking and eating dinner with their families. It is important that students spend at least two hours (7:00-9:00) on spending time with family, no distractions. Playing games, helping siblings or parents, and doing chores are all important responsibilities of teenagers and must be completed.
- Students should always take time out of their day to focus on college. Only thirty minutes to an hour (9:00-9:30) is needed each day to apply to scholarships or do college research or essays. This will be important to their future because college is the sole determinate for that.
- It is important that students tend to their physical health. Before it gets late, students should go for a run or go to the gym (9:30-10:00). Taking care of physical health as a teenager is important and cannot be put aside in favor of meaningless activities such as internet surfing or social media, as most tend to do. Thirty minutes minimum should be spent on exercise each day.
- In the evenings, students should also take time to tend to their passions. Working on their hobbies, or experimenting in their field of interest by researching or constructing a plan is essential for their future endeavors, and should take approximately one hour (10:00-11:00).
- Of course, students must take time to tend to their mental health. Doing thirty minutes (11:00-11:30) of unwinding activities before bed will help reduce any stress that they may have (this is mostly a hormonal thing, not a result of external pressures). These activities could include meditation, yoga, reading a book for leisure, or doing artwork.
- Students should be accomplishing these tasks by about 10:00 PM. If they end up going to bed later, it’s a result of wasted time on the phone or internet, and should be avoided. It’s essential that students go to bed eight to nine hours before they are scheduled to wake up, because sleep is important for their development.
These 13 simple guidelines are all equally important and failing to do one will result in a widespread negative impact on the student’s future. Sometimes, they like to say that they “don’t have time”, but that is simply because they would rather waste time on their social media looking at what they refer to as “memes”, or perceived-as funny pictures with captions.
The problem nowadays is that teenagers like to be lazy. They’d rather take the easy way out than working towards their goals. They often fail to attempt to work hard or efficiently. They neglect their families and refuse to do the work necessary to succeed in college and in life. This is a widespread epidemic throughout the generation. But, how do we solve this issue?
The solution is simple: we take away the choice to be lazy. Lazy decision making is inherent throughout the students of this age; they want to get as little done as physically possible. Close monitoring of how time is used and taking away devices is the answer. When they fail to live up to these reasonable expectations, they deserve to be punished in whatever way the adult finds necessary, as long as it doesn’t interfere with any of the other responsibilities.
Students have 24 hours every day, and choose to use it unwisely. All we ask is that they do what is necessary, which is not unreasonable. Instead, students chose to be lazy, indolent, and shiftless, only completing on average 6/13 of these tasks daily. This epidemic must cease.
As you (hopefully) know, this was a satirical piece. In all seriousness, we need to acknowledge that students are expected – by parents, teachers, college admissions representatives, and especially themselves – to do what is physically impossible to do. There are many ways to go about spending your time, and the principle in all items 1-13 are valid; however, you need to recognize that you can’t do all of them, and you need to pick which of those are most important to you and how you can implement them in a way that will keep you healthy, content, and productive. I know it can be easy for us to think that if we aren’t doing all of these things, we are failing in some way, and people (and ourselves) often like to point out that we aren’t doing some of these things, but I assure you that you are not failing. If you’re really focusing on one or two of these life aspects, you’re doing wonderfully! I hope you realize that you are indeed human (as much as you may want to be more like a robot sometimes, I know that feeling) and you only have so many hours in the day. All we can do is try our best and do what will make us content with where we are and how we are going about life. Don’t by any means become complacent and less goal-oriented, but become more aware of the inevitable limitations on what we can do, and meet that fact with an accepting attitude.