The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Opinion: Self-care is more important than academic achievement

Rei Baxter
The price one must pay to get an “A” is far too high. When debating spending your rest and stability for the grades, let the idea of an “A” burn.

The desire to thrive and succeed is assuredly a universal experience. As a high school student, success is validated by grades, assignments, and college acceptances. However, there is a point when attempting to succeed gets to be too much. When this point is reached, no matter what anyone says, someone should be allowed to put their academic success on pause to take care of themselves.

We often forget to care for ourselves when pushing ourselves to try our hardest in school. Sometimes, we think self-care is not as crucial as completing an assignment. Self-care is more important than achievement; a big part is getting enough sleep.

According to the CDC, a high school student needs 8-10 hours of sleep. However, according to CDC sleep data from 2019, almost 78% of teenagers get less than 8 hours of sleep.

A significant reason for the lack of sleep can be attributed to school.

Inadequate Sleep Duration by Rei Baxter

Most high school students take 6 or 7 classes, making up a 6 or 7-hour school day. Additionally, according to a study by the Washington Post, most students note spending an average of 2.7 hours on homework. So, for example, if a student takes 6 classes, they could spend about 9 hours on school. Schoolwork is mentally draining, especially if some of those classes are Advanced Placement.

On top of the heavy load that school gives, teenagers also have personal lives. This includes extracurriculars, jobs, volunteering, and hanging out with friends.

Adding those hours on top of school and homework, many students stay up until midnight or later, depending on their schedule. Since students have to get up early to continue this cycle, many end up with a lack of sleep.

A lack of sleep can be dangerous and present many future problems.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), it is a myth that people can live with little sleep without adverse effects. It can cause heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and depression.

In contrast, getting more sleep improves the ability to learn, problem solve, focus, and much more, according to the NHLBI. With this in mind, choosing sleep over assignments is more beneficial in the long run because one assignment does not compare to years of better focus.

We are expected to do so much in high school, and we also expect so much from ourselves. Many students aspire to get into a great college and work extremely hard to accomplish those dreams.

However, is getting the “A” really all that important?

I’m not expecting anyone to ignore all assignments that they find annoying. However, if a task at hand is causing a lot of stress, it isn’t worth turning in on time. Everyone needs breaks, and everyone needs sleep.

Also, if you need a day to yourself, you should be allowed to take it. In an ideal world, taking a mental health day, putting aside an assignment to sleep, or taking an extended break shouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. Despite that, it is essential to know your limits.

Strength does not come from pushing yourself past your limits at the expense of your mental health. On the contrary, strength is the willpower to decide when to stop. You are more important than any success or achievement.

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About the Contributor
Rei Baxter
Rei Baxter, Highlander Editor
Rei Baxter is a junior at Carlmont High School and a staff writer for Scot Scoop. They love the arts, music, writing, and science. They hope to contribute more to the community this year. To check out their journalism portfolio, click here.

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