How Much Free Time Do We Have?


Audrey Ragsdale

From spending time with family, to working jobs on the weekends, many  students of CHS find themselves with minimal free time outside of school. After school, every student has some form of homework, and most have a sport or extracurricular activity as well.

Maggie Heaphy is an all-star student here at CHS. As a sophomore, she plays baseball year-round, and participates in multiple clubs such as Latin Club and Green BACON. When asked how much free time she has during the week, she replies “Barely any. I would say less than an hour of free time every day. Between sports, clubs, and homework, it can get pretty stressful.” When asked if she feels that schoolwork takes up too much time, she says “Yes. I mean, we are at school for 8 hours a day. Why do we have to work for an extra few hours when we get home?” 

Annabel Granger, one of our beloved editors, has a slightly different approach to having free time. “I’d say on the weekdays my freetime is limited, yet I still do a lot of things. I see friends and I’m busy after school with clubs, but I don’t have a lot of time for homework. It ends up happening later in the night, and at that point, I feel way too tired to focus on it. I don’t have a lot of free time. It is all crammed with activity and work. The small amount of time that I am home is full of homework.” When asked how she balances all of those activities, she says “It’s hard to balance a social life, work and homework, and also be able to prioritize my mental health. School takes up so much time that it’s hard to focus on it when I’m not at school because there are so many other things going on. I don’t feel like I have enough time for schoolwork when I’m away from school.” With limited time for homework on the weekdays, Annabel’s weekends are also full of the same things. “My average Saturday starts at 4:30 am when I wake up. I then have to be at work by 5:00 am. I work from 5:00 am to 1:30 pm. I then go home to shower, then I do homework, then I try to fit in a social activity.” On top of all of this, she has family obligations. “Sometimes, I have to pick my younger siblings up from school, or even take them to work or other activities that they have.”

One of everyone’s favorite teacher’s, Ms. Goldman, also feels that she doesn’t have enough free time outside of school. “I normally get to school between 7:30 and 8 am, and I try to leave shortly after work, unless I have a meeting. I would say a couple hours each weekday.” When asked how much time she has on weekends, she says “I will save a good amount of time for weekends and for after work to catch up with the things I need to do, like tending to my house, my life, and catching up with friends, and just enjoying watching tv, listening to music, or anything like that. I do always end up with leftover work that I’ve put off. I budget in time for my own mental health and sanity, but then I have a lingering sense of having a pile of work that I should be doing, that I’m not doing.” Ms. Goldman also says that she can feel overwhelmed by the amount of work she has. “You have to compartmentalize the things that are on the endless to-do list, versus “I’m a human being that needs to hangout with my friends and relax and do things that are inspiring and make me happy.” 

What is the end to all of this stress? Do we need an extra weekend day for work? More class time? Fewer homework requirements? The real truth, is that there is no answer that fits every student and teacher’s expectations. Hopefully, we can move closer towards making class  requirements clearer, and free time more accessible.