This I Believe

Matt - hh, Hawaii Haiti
Entered on September 27, 2007

A Slacker’s Prayer

I believe that nobody has to, or should for that matter, work to their full potential for more than four to five hours a day. I think that everyone deserves their fair share of down time in order to remain alert, happy, and stress free.

In my life, almost all of my time is occupied by school, swimming, studying, and trying to squeeze in fifty hours of driving time before my birthday. I’m not saying I have the busiest life in the entire school, but it is busy. Swimming starts right after school and goes until 5:30, and when I get home I am exhausted. I’m about ready to crash by then, but instead I eat an enormous dinner and then do my homework.

On a good night when I don’t have that much homework, I can usually finish all my work and studying by about 7:45, if I just do all the work in one sitting. But I think it is stupid to try to finish all of my homework at the same time. In the middle of an assignment, I’ll usually start to drift off and lose my concentration, and instead of just putting my head down and studying harder, I’ll go watch an episode of Spongebob or Scrubs, and just get back to that homework later. Taking frequent study breaks recharges my low attention span for homework. I like to think of these breaks as a type of Mexican siestas, a time to relax before going back to the grind.

My freshman year biology teacher Mrs. Patel embraces this theory. She advised us during the finals last year to take a break in the middle to let out minds wander, so as not to get too bored or stressed out. During the final, the questions I knew I studied hard for started to confuse me and I had trouble focusing on the test, so I took a break and ate a bagel, and when I looked at the test again, I felt less pressure on myself and just finished the test. I ended up getting an A on that final.

Nowadays, I use this theory on my homework, tests, and listening in school. So if you’re in the middle of a tough Chemistry assignment, and you’re drifting away mentally, just take a little break. Pick up that Pokemon Gameboy game that’s been staring at you across the room (for me, Pokemon Silver, and yes you could call me a pro at it), go make yourself a snack, and get back to it later. You need to make time for yourself, and make time to relax.

453 Words