The Importance of Social Experiences
The amount of time students spend on homework has been steadily rising for years, and it does not look like it will stop any time soon.The average high school student spends around 17.5 hours on homework per week (Bidwell).This makes many people beg the question, “Where do students find time for social interaction?”For some students, the answer might be that they do not.
Parents and teachers should place just as much emphasis on a child’s social experiences as they do on academic excellence because social people have better mental and emotional health. A person’s social experiences as a child can shape their mental and emotional health for the rest of their life.Kids who spend large amounts of time doing school work, a commendable use of time, miss out on valuable social experiences.Social isolation during childhood can cause certain brain defects that make it harder for the brain to communicate with other parts of the body (Pederson).For a teenager to spend all of their time on homework and other academic pursuits while missing out on social experiences, that is dangerous.
Participating in social activities has many positive effects on different aspects of a person’s life.Social activities support learning skills, knowledge, beliefs, interests, etc (Celen-Demirtas).These things help a person to be more successful in their endeavors, including academics.Also, people need someone to talk about their emotions to.It sounds lame and cheesy, but keeping those emotions inside is heating a pressurised container; at some point it is going to explode, and all those emotions with come spilling out at once.
Multiple studies have found that a person who does not express their feelings and emotions is much more susceptible to depression and anxiety(The Importance of Social).Students today need friends, or even just one good friend, that they can open up to.Social support is necessary for healthy growth and development.Lack of social support can also lead to cardiovascular problems (Importance of Social).Most students do not realize this when they make the decision whether to go to the movies with friends or study an extra couple hours for that test.
The most common argument against the need for social experiences is that academic pursuits are much more important and valuable.Hard work in high school leads to getting into a good college, which leads to having a successful (and well-paid) career.This, in some cases, is true.In other cases, though, students focus so intently on studying and schoolwork that they miss out on attaining certain skills that employers look for.One of these skills is the ability to work well with others.In today’s globally integrated workforce, communicating and collaborating with other people is becoming more important every day.
Recent studies also found that people who engage in more “leisure activities” are more efficient and better prepared to deal with unexpected changes(Celen-Demirtas).Also, after a certain point, making more money does not make a person happier(Lyubomirsky).So, pushing a student a student to a back-breaking workload is not the best thing for their mental health, or even their happiness, in the long run. With schools becoming more and more competitive, it seems that many are cutting out the social experience of high school and replacing it with more challenging courses and more homework.Most students do not realize that by doing this, they are threatening their own well-being.
Depression, anxiety, elevated levels of stress.All of these are effects of a lack of social experiences.There also has to be a balance though.Academic excellence IS important. But the importance of social experiences can not be ignored.Developing kids and teenagers need more social interactions.The question becomes, ” Is a better GPA worth the negative effects to your mental health?”