Editorial: Managing the Asynchronous Workload

One of the biggest complaints circulating within our community is the excessive amount of homework that teachers have been assigning.

One of the biggest complaints circulating within our community is the excessive amount of homework that teachers have been assigning. Everywhere on Snapchat, Instagram, and private messages, we are grumbling about the number of hours we have to sit at our desks and think about school. Even after the Administration responded to our needs by reducing the homework time per class, we still find fault in the system and complain about not having enough time for our families, Netflix, and friends. But this begs the question, how much is too much? How much does Lawrenceville have to cut down on our schoolwork in order for us to be satisfied?

It seems like we will never be completely satisfied. The reality is, we are still in school and we are not on vacation. While Lawrenceville has already empathized with its students by simplifying its Spring curriculums, we cannot forget that we still need to complete a certain number of requirements to graduate. Simply because we learn from home does not mean that our teachers can completely abandon their syllabuses and tailor to all of our needs, because in truth, we will only continue to find imperfections and criticize the lack of normalcy when, currently, nothing in the world is ordinary. Moreover, our parents are paying a hefty tuition for us to learn, not for us to solely sit in bed and watch TV. We are privileged enough to have dedicated teachers for us to frequently work with, an exemplary curriculum, and rare online resources that most students do not get to enjoy. As Headmaster Murray often notes, if Lawrentians won't make the most out of these opportunities and facilities, then who will?

Though some may be disgruntled with the workload at the moment, if we step back and take a look at the bigger picture, we are spending the same amount of time, if not less, on academics than we would be on campus. Nevertheless, our student body is scattered across the world, and each one of us may be dealing with different circumstances at home.

It is understandable that with such unregulated schedules, some of us may be complaining because of procrastination; we lack the motivation to start our assignments, and by doing so, we wait until the last minute. In this case, perhaps the heavy workload is not what is causing our dissatisfaction but actually the lack of a regimen in our lives. Researching ways to stay organized, creating a workable daily schedule to follow, or occasionally moving our working environment are all possible ways to help us stay focused and productive. To combat this issue, the School can also provide tools for us to effectively manage our time, whether that be organizing online study sessions in groups or hosting an event where we can work with faculty to build schedules that are tailored to our unique circumstances.

It is also understandable that not everyone has the privilege of living in a financially stable household. Some of us may have other family obligations, chores to complete, or the burden of not knowing what the future entails; thus, we may conclude that reducing our academic workload helps alleviate these worries as we would have less to manage on our plates. But for all we know, homework might not be completely to blame here and our lack of access to emotional support might be the primary issue. Given such a situation, not only can we utilize our school's health and wellness resources by contacting our counselors, but the Administration can also take this opportunity to focus more on attending to students' mental health rather than reforming the syllabus.

Indubitably, these are challenging times. Not only are we, the student body, facing a myriad of changes, but the Administration is too. Sometimes, we simply have to accept that our current circumstances do not allow us to enjoy all the privileges that we get at Lawrenceville, and that we may have to sit at our desks in order to complete our assignments. If some of us are dealing with other challenges aside from work, then we can try to consult with our advisors or settle a compromise with our teachers. Even so, we cannot forget the reality we are living in and completely relax because we are still students who are completing our education, even if situations may not be ideal.

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