WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 28, 2010, 11:12 AM

High school students struggling with increased workload

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A new documentary is coming to the Fargo Theater Thursday that reveals a dark and truthful look into the struggles of teens and the pressures they face to make the grade and get into college. Students in the Metro agree with the documentary. They're calling the pressure to get the best grades, or be the best athlete, overwhelming and constant.

The snippets are shocking.

"I can't really remember the last time I had a chance to go in the backyard and just run around."

"School's just so much pressure that everyday; I'd wake up dreading it."

And it is just a taste of what thousands of teenagers across the nation face daily.

"You have at least your main points figured out."

But also, right here at home.

MARY: "I feel like I'm taking a test everyday."

SHERAE: "You can't waste a minute."

CARISSA: "You don't procrastinate with your homework."

JACOB: "There are always people around you doing better than you."

"Because I need to know not only what your topic is tomorrow."

These West Fargo seniors are dealing with these growing demands. With so much focus on passing a test instead of retaining the information, they say time becomes precious and virtually impossible to come by.

SHERAE: "My mom's always like, 'Sherae, just take a break!' and I'm like, 'I can't mom, I have four hours of homework and it's 7:00."

CARISSA: "It's hard because they don't always understand."

JACOB: "Some people I know can get kind of grumpy, staying up late and not getting sleep!"

Not to mention, the increased emphasis on advanced classes.

MARY: "They kind of preached to us our freshman year to take all the harder classes."

JACOB: "In the dual-credit class, I want to do good because it also counts as a college credit."

Forget about all the work the kids have to do in the classroom, what about all the hours of dedication to other activities outside the school?"

MARY: "Friday comes around, the weekend, and then you don't have weekend anymore, then you have basketball tournaments or your clubs go into the weekend."

SHERAE: "Get home from practice, then you do your homework right away and then you just basically go to bed and do the same thing."

It is a daily cycle of what's become an over-scheduled culture; one that's swirling throughout the nation. The screening starts at 7:00 Thursday at the Fargo Theater. Afterwards, WDAY Radio's Christopher Gabriel will host a panel discussion with teachers, students and educators. Tickets are 5 dollars.