Study Hall: A trap

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Students "hard at work" watching a movie in Solon High School's study hall.

Students "hard at work" watching a movie in Solon High School's study hall.

Melissa Ellin, Contributing Writer

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Across the country students feel it is necessary to carve out a period each year to complete their work, and it may seem insurmountable, but you can graduate…without one. It’s stressful. It’s tiresome. And it’s not ideal for everyone. But it’s possible. I would even say that it’s beneficial.

 

With an extra period, there’s time to take more courses. While I personally have the occasional study hall fantasies, I would not change my schedule for the world. As a junior, I am currently enrolled in two Advanced Placement (AP) courses, yet still manage to get to bed before midnight each night. There has not been a single night in my high school career that I have had to stay up past midnight in order to get my work done.

 

Of course, this is not the case for everyone. Students regularly stay up until the next morning, but my question to them is: are you staying up to do homework? And if so, is it because you wasted time earlier in the evening?

 

On the other hand, study hall can be a necessary luxury to some.

 

“I have been able to manage starting a club after school and maintaining two jobs as of this moment,” junior Laura Lopez-Oropeza said

 

But when asked whether she believes she could keep up with all of her schoolwork and extracurriculars, minus the study hall, she said yes.

 

And no, Lopez-Oropeza is not every student, but can anyone honestly say that they could not survive without study hall?


Solon High School Guidance Counselor Ann Trocchio describes study hall as a nice break in a student’s day that can provide some balance to his or her busy schedule. It acts as a sort of security blanket for some people.

 

Junior Haoxin Wu, who has never had a study hall, admits to having wished she had taken one. If she could go back in time, she would change her schedule, but still take all of the same courses.

 

“[I would redo] my schedule to take more [difficult] classes [freshman, sophomore and junior year] to be able to have a study hall senior year,” Wu said.

 

This demonstrates that while “the struggle is real,” senioritis is the actual reason Wu would turn back time. After all, the reason she wishes she could redo her schedule is to take more classes as an underclassmen to attain free time senior year.

 

Wu is living, breathing proof that study hall is unnecessary, and her schedule proves it. She is taking two honors classes on top of two AP classes this year alone, while still maintaining honor roll status.

 

Not convinced? Think about what colleges look for on transcripts: rigor. Colleges want driven students, even if they did not receive straight A’s. Colleges assess the difficulty of students’ courses. If admissions see you took less courses than other applicants, they may not have the same tolerance they would have for someone with a full schedule.

 

Part of the guidance counselors’ spiel is that high school is meant to prepare us for college, but if this is true, why are they providing an advantage that will not be available in the real world?

 

This is not to say that if you take a study hall you won’t get into college, but if it comes down to you and another candidate who has taken harder classes, and more of them, who do you think they will choose?

 

If you are worried about how you will fair without a study hall, keep in mind that just because you are getting rid of study hall does not mean you have to replace it with an AP or honors course. In fact, “Princeton Review” said that colleges want to see balance and rigor. Electives look just as good as AP courses, so even if you are taking an “easy A” course rather than a study hall, it will still give you a leg up on the competition. There are plenty of courses at Solon High School that have little to no outside work required.

 

While there should be certain actions taken for those who require a study hall for academic assistance, it’s best to avoid taking study hall entirely, especially with the introduction of chromebooks. I can’t imagine how many Solon High School students are playing games rather than doing their homework, or perhaps, reading this article. And I really can’t imagine, seeing as how I don’t have a study hall.

 

For your own sake, don’t make a potential compromise to your future education by having a study hall now.

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