by MIRANDA ROUTE Staff Writer All high school students know the pressure that a full assignment pad brings. A lot of homework in one night can lead to increased stress, so many people are asking, “Is there such a thing as too much homework?” Homework and the pressure of keeping a high GPA can cause students to lose sleep, gain weight, and even stop communicating with friends. This stress is not beneficial to a nation that is already trying to become healthier. Parents want their children to do well in school, but sometimes the excess work makes them do worse. The purpose of assigning homework is to let students reflect on what they have learned in school that day. Teachers give work directly related to the topics their students have been taught so that the information stays fresh in their minds. Paul Reber, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University, says, “The brain’s exact storage capacity for memories is difficult to calculate.” This is because certain things take up more memory space than others. However, the brain can only hold around seven pieces of information at one time, so a lot of information from homework goes in one ear and out the other. Many students, especially high school and college students, know the pressure of a full schedule. Students have afterschool activities besides homework, such as sports and jobs, that are beneficial to their social skills, health, and resumes. An anonymous source says, “I have so much homework every night that I don’t have time to do anything else. It’s really stressful.” There are a few steps you can take in order to manage your stress. First, you have to accept the stressful things you cannot change. Then, look at how you take care of your stress now. Students should make sure to set a homework schedule, stop making excuses, and block out distractions. Remember that taking time for relaxation is important, too. Exercise, a healthy diet, and enough sleep are all ways to feel refreshed and ready to do school work. Freshman Teresa Chiarella says, “I usually go outside to play if I’m really stressed out. The activity helps me relax so I can get back to my homework.” However, some people resort to things like stopped communication with friends and family, and procrastination. Others fill up every second of their day to avoid doing their work. All of these ways are unhealthy and do not solve the problem of homework. The only way to beat your stress is to get right down to the problem – completing the assigned work. It is proven that completing the easier work first warms up your mind and gets it ready to do the larger tasks. Also, it gets the little things done with so you can focus on the bigger tasks and not feel distracted. Even though many students feel pressured to get their work done on time, there is not much they can do to decrease the amount of work. It is important to just focus on getting it all done, while still fitting in a little relaxation every once in a while.