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Dear Fox, Homework Hazard

Advice involving high schoolers' excess of homework.

Dear Fox, Columnist

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Dear Fox,

I have a problem with my crazy teacher.

They assign homework on the rate of two essays a week.

How do I politely tell them that this is too much homework, and ask them to assign less? How do I even broach the topic with this teacher?

–Anonymous senior in AP classes

 

Dear Fox,

Recently, I have been flooded with a pool of homework, long rehearsal hours, and many extracurricular activities. How can I manage the pool of homework, studies, and my commitments?

–Anonymous

 

I got a lot of emails like these. Right off the bat, asking about less homework depends on the teacher: laid-back teacher? Be sincere and calm asking for less, you might get through to them. Strict drill sergeant? Facts are your friend, but you probably still won’t get less. No matter what, be sure to ask them one-on-one and in private.

The most important part of dealing with schoolwork stress is, as cliché as it may sound: time management (or more specifically not procrastinating like I do, which I’ll get to later). If you start on the work as soon as you can, then you get it done sooner, and don’t have to worry at 3 am about if you can finish before you pass out because you’ll have time to stay up until 3 scrolling through Instagram, Twitter, and the like. Time management also includes my personal favorite part: breaks. Believe me, breaks are important: do you know how hard it is typing with paws? Take a 10-minute breather when you get home, and start working. A good rule of thumb (if you have them, that is) is for every hour, take ten-to-fifteen minutes to break, and then get back to it. Generally, most given today/due tomorrow assignments shouldn’t take more than an hour, if you understand the material (and if you don’t goof off while you’re supposed to be doing them). Projects are a different animal, and definitely not as cool as a fox. For projects, start like this: As. Soon. As. Possible. I can’t emphasize that enough, and I clearly tried. Big projects land big points, and most of them are pretty easy test grades, if you get them in on time. It’s like a Segway: slow and steady gets a good time, but going as fast as you can last minute is going to make you an idiot on youtube fail videos.

Speaking of awkward segues and the time-suck of youtube videos: procrastination. My advice is to go offline when you can. The horror, I know. Being offline is terrible in every sense of the word, but seriously, with the internet being as it is nowadays, it’s better to avoid it. If you need the internet for your work, no new tabs, research tabs only. Besides, when you have a research project, your tabs are already so small that you don’t have room for any more. Try to avoid music as well. It can really help some people, but I end up singing along to my favorites on a playlist and not doing my work. I mean, it’s hard enough writing without thumbs, but try to write while singing/saying something other than what you’re writing…

So, now you see why projects and/or work sucks. I mean, how easy it is to procrastinate? There’s a good app to keep you off your phone called “Forest: Stay Focused.” (Also for Computers!) If you open the app, a forest will start to grow for as long as you don’t touch your phone. You open another app, the trees start to wither. Unless you want to waste time literally watching grass grow, you’ll probably set the phone down to work.

Remember everyone, if you have a problem: write in an email to [email protected] for your chance to be featured.

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Dear Fox, Homework Hazard