Should The School Board Add a Free Period In High School?

Think back to your first year of school. What do you remember first? Most people usually remember things like playing on the playground, eating snack and (my personal favorite) NAP TIME! I remember looking forward to nap time every day in kindergarten and wishing for it in first grade.

Here’s the thing. Nap time is now a thing of the past. I have a five year old nephew who started kindergarten this past August. He comes over to my house on Wednesdays but tends to always fall asleep in the car. I asked him if they do nap time anymore and his response was that they don’t but have a reading time instead.

Our school system has become extremely obsessed with raising test scores that they took away nap time from a bunch of five and six year olds. This has gone too far. We should bring back nap time for not only elementary schools, but middle and high schools as well.

This would be an extra hour and a half added to the school day to be used for sleeping, playing sports, socializing, studying and really anything else you want or needed to get done. It would be a free period essentially. This is perfect during testing because it helps with stress and gets you another hour of much needed sleep.

The stress caused by school is something that everyone has felt. Stress causes everything from headaches to depression and anxiety while making us feel terrible. Most stressors for high schoolers are things like the ACT (which will apparently decide our entire future), relationships and self-hate from trying to be society’s idea of perfect.

There is so much put on us that we have to manage to the point where we don’t have time to have a real life away from school. With the free period, we have a way to take a break and relax for a little bit. Studies show that socializing with friends and family as well as taking time for hobbies such as reading and listening to music help lower stress.

Due to the homework load in high school, most people don’t get much needed sleep. I have close friends that get 4 hours or less of sleep per night, merely half the suggested sleep. With the free period, we would have the opportunity to get a few minutes of much needed sleep. The National Sleep Foundation suggests a 10-20 minute nap to boost energy lost from the stress of the day.

Middle and elementary schools would benefit from this as well. Let’s face it, middle school is a weird time. Having time to relax and be yourself would help drastically. Elementary schools need to stop worrying about test scores so much. Not one test done during those years will affect their long-term future. Let them be kids and have fun.

While I believe that a free period would be beneficial, I know what the school system is going to think: What can we do to get them off their phones for an hour? Make them walk around in a circle for an hour! Please don’t require us to walk in a circle for an hour if we choose to talk to our friends. You call it lazy, we call it relaxing. It gets annoying having to walk around the same circle every day.

I asked around to see how popular this idea of a free period is. 116 people answered my call. A shocking 60% of people hated the idea, reasons ranging from hating school to having after-school activities. The reasons said by the 40% that agrees with me ranged from wanting a break during the day to being able to talk to friends that they don’t have a class with.

No matter what side you are on, it’s clear to see that MJ likes things the way they are. Stay classy, MJ.


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