“Guess I’ll go jump off a cliff,” he says after forgetting to do his homework.
“I’ll just go throw myself off a building,” she announces after receiving her failing test grade.
“I’m going to kill myself,” she states after not making the team.
Most students are far too familiar with statements like these in their lives. We’ve become numb to the
idea of a teenager saying they plan to take their own life. How did it get to this point? How can the idea
of a child taking their own life not affect us?
I think it started with something we couldn’t control: a growing population. With a growing population
comes more competition for better jobs. Better jobs often require a college education. Getting into
college requires being a top-tier, well-rounded student -- in both an academic and an extracurricular
sense -- who stands out above their peers.
In a survey completed in 2013 by the University of Phoenix College of Education, high school teachers
reported assigning an average of three and a half hours of homework to their students each week. That
is 3.5 hours per week per teacher, folks!. In a week, we can spend around 24 hours exclusively doing
homework. From Kindergarten to 12th grade, we spend 8,190 hours, or 341 days, or a just few days
under a YEAR, only doing homework. What a waste of the “best years of our life”.
Students are killing themselves over stress. Our broken education system can push people to end their
life. Every one-hundred minutes a teenager takes their life. However, only 30% teenagers get help,
despite suicide being the third largest killer of teens today.
However, how do we expect students to respond with so few free hours in the day. It's no wonder stress
is such the killer that it is when days are so packed students can barely breathe.
For example, about 70% of students have a desire to go to college. Then not only is the increased
homework load going to take longer, but more importantly there's now the fact that extra-curricular
activities and the time spent in those now need to be factored into the schedule. A student going into
college need to consider these because it’s what allows them to be considered well rounded.
Depending on the student the time ranges from around an hour to four a day. We’re already over 24
hours and we haven't even thought about sleeping, eating, and the daily functions of living. And may I
remind you according to most adults, Gen Z is lazy.
Who knows, maybe it is the hormonal issue we continue to be told it is. However, its one that killing and
getting swept under the rug continually and shamed into silence. It’s thought that up to 50% of
American teens could be diagnosed with depression sometime in the school career. Which is what this
leads to. Teenagers and adults feeling shame for how they’re feeling. If more people were able to feel
safe getting help maybe, we would lose so many young lives.
And in all, if there was something wrong with your lungs, you would go to the doctor to get help, so why wouldn’t you do the same when there something wrong your brain.