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Does Your Home Life Really Affect You?

Shelby Gilley, Staff Writer

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My childhood was very privileged; the only problems I faced were the first of first-world problems. I grew up with married and stable parents, who supported me in every possible way: emotionally, financially, spiritually, and in my education. I have been blessed enough to grow up in a loving and present family. I truly have not been affected by some of the struggles my peers face on a daily basis with things that have just been handed to me by my support system. But I began to wonder how many of my peers have struggles at home that affects both their behavior and grades at WHS.

I decided to take a poll. About 175 students responded on certain questions about their home life, the results were shocking: 37% of students come from divorced households, 20% of the students come from a single parent/single parent income, and 35% of students have families that struggle financially. A few respondents shared their stories of how difficult it is worrying about what they will wear to school if they’re lucky enough to have a choice of clothes, or worried about how they’re going to get to school if they’re lucky to be able to afford a car. In addition, 34% of students are supporting their families financially outside of school with work, thus putting school as their second priority because of working long hours just to help the family get by.

Of these students, 74% said their home life puts added stress on them, making it harder to focus on school. 57% of students said their home lives affect how they do in school with increased stress, pressure, and frustration. At some points during their day, their focus is so pulled off learning that their grades at times even suffer. A shocking 52% said their home life’s contributed to their depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. When our students walk out the doors of WHS, we do not know what they’re going home to.

These scary statistics are a wake-up call for all students of WHS to go out of our way every day to treat our peers with kindness, grace, and understanding. Teachers and staff should do their best to take into account what their students could be having to prioritize before their classwork. WHS as a whole must always be a positive, encouraging, and helpful environment for our student body.

School provides an opportunity to separate oneself from a home life and help that person work through the occurring household issues. Adults are always easy to access if you need to share what’s going on after that 3:55 afternoon bell; help is within our grasp if we’re willing to seek it out. There are free and reduced lunch programs to help with the expense, and free school supplies are easy to access if you’re having difficulties affording them. For needs that can’t be met within the scope of WHS, we have CIS (Communities In Schools) housed on campus to assist students too. There are also scholarship opportunities that WHS staff can keep you informed about. WHS is equipped with staff that can help you learn to cope with emotional problems at home. Weatherford High truly is a school that will go out of its way to support our students who are going through hardships. Even if life’s odds are stacked against you, you can still get help, guidance, and a good education to help benefit your future!

Our students should never be limited by their families’ income bracket, what race they are, what gender they are, whatever their home life may look like, or anything else. Regardless of where you come from, or what obstacles your current home life presents, education is the best investment in a better future. WHS is the stepping stone for lifelong success and happiness.

 

*Artwork by Allison Williams, Kaity Hudson, Paloma Estrada, and Clara Tolleson

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Does Your Home Life Really Affect You?