Taking Off the Training Wheels

By Danny Atten, Opinions Staff Writer

I began school at IMSA in August.  Being a sophomore, I suffer through the scourge of sophomore year:  study hours.  From 7:00 to 9:00 pm, four days a week, I am confined to my small room, bent over the books.  Yet I personally appreciate this time.  In the past, IMSA has been called “college with training wheels,” and study hours are a good example of the wheels.   IMSA’s administration created study hours to teach young sophomores the importance of devoting time to school work, as most of us did not have to do so at our home schools.  Students should consider following the administration’s recommendation and continue to utilize study hours next semester rather than take advantage of sophomore privileges.

Next semester, sophomores are given the chance to eliminate study hours.  Some will choose to do so; others will not.  In effect, students are given the chance to take off the training wheels.  However, this may not be the best decision.  Study hours teach sophomores time management, a valuable life skill.  It is a skill that will be useful throughout life, and yet, it is a skill that many adults do not possess.  IMSA is doing sophomores a service by mandating study hours.

Study hours also promote a passion for learning, a pillar on which IMSA was founded.  As every IMSA student knows, study hours can be a pain.  They take up a large portion of the night, and compounded with internet shut-off and lights out, they are a general nuisance.  Study hours are a huge block of each sophomore’s busy schedule and often can interrupt it, but they are a good time to get work done.  They encourage sophomores to work ahead of time, and avoid procrastination.  By doing so, students can become more involved in IMSA.  By having a preset time to get homework done, sophomores are able to choose freely what they wish to do in their free time, instead of worrying about finishing homework when they don’t have extracurricular activities.  These study hours allow students to focus not only on their schooling, but also on having fun in high school.

Instead of taking off the training wheels next semester, IMSA’s sophomores should consider keeping study hours on their schedule.  Study hours teach valuable life skills like managing time and working ahead.  They encourage hard work and promote good grades, and in all, they parallel IMSA’s mission statement by igniting and nurturing scientific and ethical minds that may, one day, advance the human condition.

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