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Why Do Kids Hate School?
By Chris Q., Oakwood High, Toronto, Ontario

Beep, beep, beep. That dreaded sound. You hammer the snooze button. Ten more minutes of sleep, you say to yourself, that's all I need, than I'll get up. Beep, beep, beep. Hammer the snooze button again. Ten more minutes. I'll skip breakfast and run to school. I'll still make it on time. Beep, beep, beep. Snooze button seems so far away, but you stretch out and press it. Ten more minutes. 'll be a little late, the teacher won't care that much. "GET UP!" Your mom hollers from below. You slowly roll out of the warm cocoon of your bed and stand up in the cold unwelcoming air of the morning. You sit there for a moment and think, "God, I hate school."

These are the thoughts of most students these mornings. We are now entering the most difficult time of the year. The excitement and freshness of returning to school is over. Homework has begun to pile on; textbooks are handed out already, ISU outlines are on our desks at home. That's right, school has officially started. Unfortunately, we haven't got into the flow where days pass by in the blink of an eye. The days are moving painfully slowly, and weekends pass before we can even settle in. It's this time of year when I hear the most complaints about school.

How can one thing that does nothing but give to us be hated so much? Santa Claus does the same thing and that guy wants milk and cookies, while school just needs you to show up and pay attention. Is that too much to ask? Apparently so. One student from Central Technical Institute told me "I hate school because it's stupid and boring." He makes an interesting point that is difficult to argue, but I asked him to elaborate. "Because it's a waste of time. I could be spending that time sleeping." Ah, yes. The sleep factor comes into play.

When we were younger, waking up at 7am was a normal thing, especially on weekends. I mean, that's when the best cartoons are on. Nowadays, we have to have four different alarms going off in various parts of the room just to get our butts out by 8:30. What happened to our bodies? Nothing. We're just going to sleep later. Remember when 10pm was a ridiculous hour to be up at? Now it's when you catch your favourite T.V. shows or when most of your friends are on MSN. We have to save our recreation for the evenings because of the ridiculous amount of work we're doing. Not just schoolwork either (even though there's still a lot of that) but most of us have part-time jobs in order to have enough money to survive in University. We're looking at almost $15 000 for University per year and we have to raise enough money for that, while at the same time keeping our marks up to get into the programs we want.

I talked to a Harbord student about why he disliked school. "It's the homework. Homework sucks." Another good point by one of the fine students of Toronto. It is a proven fact that homework does indeed suck but is that enough to hate it? Yes, yes it is. We are committed to attending school eight hours a day, five days a week, but must our extra time be taken up by school as well? If you have a light week and only have an hour of homework a night, that adds up to another 6-hour school day. The recommended amount of homework for our age is three hours a day. That's 21 hours a week. An extra three days of school. That's right, people; we're doing school work almost eight days a week! 61 hours a week spent on school. That's one third of our week, at school. A little excessive maybe? Considering the average work week is 40 hours that does seem like a little much.

Teenagers and people under the age of twenty in general have short attention spans, so if you have them doing the same thing 60 hours a week for twelve straight years, it might get a little tedious. That's why people enjoy university so much. It's such a change of pace and style that they can enjoy learning again, as well as getting plastered out of their minds. If high school was something other than going to school, sitting in a cramped desk, and listening to a teacher for 50 minutes before moving on to the next class, then maybe we wouldn't hate it so much.

We're all aware that school is essential and that it's impossible to live a decent life without spending your youth locked in an institution for at least 14 years. If only things could freshen up every year or so. The only major transition I remember was going from cubbies to lockers in grade seven. Other than that, it's been the same thing year after year. The only difference would be more work, which doesn't exactly get people more excited about school.

The bottom line is that kids are always going to hate school as long as it continues to cut into their free time and offers nothing new and exciting for them to do. Classes like English Media and Writer's Craft are popular because they take a different approach to school, and we enjoy it. Until something drastic happens no one can expect us to enjoy our time there, but I ask the students to make an attempt. In classes like Design and Technology where students have fun in a relaxed atmosphere, you get hardly any complaints. Relaxed and laid back is what everyone in school should have in mind, because life is stressful enough.

Originally published in
Oakwood Voices, Oakwood Collegiate's Student Newspaper


Ya Chris is right kids do hate school. Teachers say they know all about it but they don't and they don't do anything. Maybe they should get a clue and listen to us and watch what happens to us every day and see how we feel
Holly D., Age 16, Waterloo, ON



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