School: The Sacrifice of Free Time


Kate Lohrey, Reporter


It’s homework time and 17-year-old Fernando Boyd is ready to study.

He heads down to his room, turns on the latest football game and starts up his laptop. Over the next two hours, Boyd will send about a dozen snapchats discussing a large variety of subjects, take at least one phone call, scroll through twitter and instagram, volunteer to help with a the fish food bank the next week, and check out the new fishbowl pictures another friend has posted on his story.

In between, he’ll define Bernoulli’s law of inequality for an AP statistics paper, analyze trends in technology usage across the school for an upcoming research paper, and practice his solo for chamber choir a few times. He is one classic example of a high schooler. Too many commitments with little or no time in between.  

We spend over 10,000 hours participating in clubs, sports, homework, and then school itself. 10,000 hours! Much like Boyd, most of our lives currently revolve around some aspect of school, whether it’s studying for an extra hour to score a 5 on an AP test or staying up all night thinking of the perfect way to ask that special someone to prom and all of those time commitments add up fast.

In total, 4,680 hours are spent in high school itself. An additional 5,400 hours are spent on clubs, sports, other extracurricular activities, and homework adding up to a whopping 10,080 hours spent on high school. This leaves about 7,200 hours for sleep and other non-school related things like texting or scrolling through social media.

Now, these numbers fluctuate from person to person. For example, Gabe Fobes spends his time a little differently than Boyd. He works as a prep cook at the Floatation Device, has three intense AP classes, and plays bass for Zero Harbor Band. That’s about 15 hours working, another 8-15 with his band practicing for an upcoming gig, and 5-10 hours working on his AP homework. If you add in school that makes around 70 hours spent on high school and all of it’s aspects. That’s a huge commitment for a cap and gown.

The numbers definitely speak for themselves in saying students are dedicated to themselves and their personal success. Students like Boyd are giving up precious football training time to practice for a choir concert or choosing to study for an upcoming unit quiz rather than going to catch a movie with friends. High school should be about having a healthy balance of work and fun. Sometimes this balance gets thrown off and that’s normal, healthy even. Just don’t neglect that paper that’s due by midnight.