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The Price of Independence

Jaden Decker, Staff Writer

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Hardships preparing ordinary students for extraordinary futures

Stop what you are doing, and think for a second about your life. Are you overwhelmed, or stressed? Is your stress being caused by financial issues at home? The financial struggles a person faces can affect many areas of their life, including their ability to attend certain high school events, playing the sports that they love, and just simply existing stress-free and content. The truth is, not every family has the privilege of being financially stable.
Many students are swamped with maintaining good grades, preparing for the future, while still trying to make time for friends and family. For most, this task is impossible but Katherine Kondaurov (12), overcomes the struggles of being in high school while steadily keeping a job.
“I guess my motto is that ‘I wish there were more hours in the day. There is not enough time to hold a decent social life, go to work, participate in school activities, and keep up with my personal life,” Kondaurov said.
The strife of not having enough time in the day affects the students here at LHS. Including, Emily Hofherr (12), who also experiences financial hardships. Hofherr works between 10 and 20 hours each week, practices everyday for cheer, and maintains adequate grades in all of her classes.
“I feel that I do not ever have enough time to complete homework and it stresses me out because my parents always expect perfect grades from me,” Hofherr said.
Hofherr, along with thousands of other students are habitually stressed and overwhelmed when it comes to the amount of homework they have to do each and every night. For others, it is even more of a challenge when that person also has responsibilities with an employer.
When the hours of these post-school commitments add up, oftentimes the amount of sleep students are receiving suffers.
According to the Time Magazine, there is a direct correlation between the amount of hours a student sleeps in relation to their GPA. It is proven that the more sleep a person attains, the more likely they are to see an academic improvement.
“I do not have much time to do homework and it is extremely hard to get a good night’s sleep, and it is also hard to stay focused in class,” Kondaurov said.
Short or poor amounts of sleep is a significant risk factor for poor academic performance. According to the Nationwide’s Children Hospital, the average amount of sleep a high schooler receives each night is about seven hours, and the amount recommended is at least nine hours.
LHS hosts a variety of after school programs and events for all grade levels and for most, there is nothing holding students back from attending, but for others, are unfortunately not able to attend due to a lack of free time. For Kondaurov, being a senior, there are many special events that are important to a student.
“I do find myself missing out on a lot of extra curricular and school events because of how much I work,” Kondaurov said.
For many, high school is all about creating memories and moments that will stick with you forever, but when you are trying to balance having fun while working many hours every week can be very frustrating.
“There are some nights during the week and weekend when I can not make plans with my friends, because I either have to work or catch up on homework, and I feel I miss out on a lot of important school activities,” Hofherr said.
High school students are certainly familiar with the timeless adage that these years are supposed to be amon the best and most interesting years of our lives. How, as students, are we supposed to experience this when there is left minimal time to partake.
Sometimes the personal life of a student can be more stressful than one can imagine. For some, this might include having to be more mature and responsible for their age.
“Currently, I pay for my car insurance, gas, phone bill, groceries, and on the occasion, school expenses,” Kondaurov said.
Most LHS students are privileged enough to recieve support from their parents financially, but others need to assist their parent’s with certain costs that may not be in a student’s personal budget.
According to the Los Angeles Times Magazine, the average amount of homework given each night to the American high school students is about three hours. This survey does not factor students enrolled in AP/ IB and honors classes.
“My homework load feels heavy because I can only dedicate school time to do it. Either that or I stay up really late to finish and or study,” Kondaurov said.
With the average homework load so high, it is often hard for students to balance having a job, social life, and athletic commitments while trying to maintain good grades.
It is overwhelming for many students to keep an above average GPA, have a job and work 25hours a week, and make time for friends and family, but Kondaurov conquers, and does so well. She is an inspiration to others and her hard work will pay off in the future.
Just remember, next time you are stressed about money, think stressed spelled backwards is desserts, and life is simply too short to stress.
People who may be struggling now can remember these hardships will prepare them for the future and these students, with a strong work ethic, will be ready for anything.

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