How to Manage Assignments at Hauppauge High School


Amelia Helmke, Author

For the underclassmen in our school, it has been found that managing their assignments has become a bit difficult. Time management is an essential factor for success in school. Due to the differences in daily school life since our school started back up in September, the underclassmen, more on the freshmen side, are having trouble navigating their work well. There is, without a doubt, a significant difference between how the school used to be and how we do school now. Understandably, students have had difficulty adjusting to these differences, considering the circumstances. To test the theory that some of our students have inflexible schedules, I conducted interviews with some students and staff in our district. 

Tips and Tricks

 When you need tips and resources, Shannon Griffin, one of our school’s excellent social workers, is a tremendously helpful place to go. One of the advice she offered to students regarding management tips is finding a system that works for them, such as an agenda book or lists. Some resources that can help students manage their time better are calendars and setting reminders on your phone. Ms. Griffin also says that students can manage their anxiety about missing assignments by practicing mindfulness and learning to control your breathing and internal thoughts, which can help them get a different perspective on what they’re struggling with. Never be afraid to ask for help if you are in need. The school has many resources to help students who are having a hard time. Talk to your teachers, ask questions, open up to them if you need help or more time on an assignment. Outside of school, students can ask family, friends, and tutors for support as well. Asking various people for support can also give you the ability to be open to a range of different answers to find what will work best for you and help you the most. Everyone deals with stress, anxiety, and time management differently, so sometimes it can be better to find out for yourself what you like if you’re more reserved with yourself. There will always be resources for all students; any staff from our school will be happy to help. The fantastic Mrs. Lasurdo was more than happy to give me some intel from the perspective of a teacher. She recommends that students use a calendar and agenda to have set times for certain things. She suggests that students check google classroom daily, ask questions if you’re confused, or message your teacher or friends for help. Mrs. Lasurdo has been very helpful to a lot of students in the past. If you need assistance, she will be there for you emotionally and academically. Regarding anxiety, Lasurdo advises that students “reach out to an adult at home or in school can help students get the support and coping skills to be successful.” She also says, “Asking for help and acknowledging when there is anxiety is a great first step. Teachers and staff are happy to help students who are struggling with work and/or anxiety. We are living in a different time, and it often requires adjustments and support from others.” I see a common theme between the suggestions from these two admirable staff members here at Hauppauge High School. I would not recommend taking these suggestions lightly, especially if you are struggling with managing your time well or handing assignments in. As students, these problems can happen to everyone; you have to learn what works best to push through those hard times. 

COVID-19’s Impact On Time Management

 In the words of Ms. Griffin, “I think for some people, it(COVID-19) has made the super-efficient and given them the time that they need to come up with a (time management) system that works for them. For some people, having too much time and not as many distractions or as many things on their schedule has made it hard for them to stay regulated. It’s easier to get distracted by things like Netflix and your phone when you’re not on a schedule.” Mental health also has an impact on student’s schedules. Whether it’s positive or negative mental health aspects, the state of mind and mindset that a student has can signify their ability to do work. Students have made a big adjustment from what school used to be like to now. Every school is doing things slightly differently. For example, some schools are doing online school, some are doing a hybrid week, and other schools like ours are doing in-person school. Mrs. Lasurdo says that “students had a challenging time in the Spring with distance learning because they didn’t keep themselves on a schedule.” and that “block scheduling can be tiring for students to sit for seventy-five minutes at a time and pay attention.” As a student myself, I can say without a doubt that I agree with Mrs. Lasurdo. Without thought, COVID-19 has impacted students, but how? Lasurdo says, “I have seen students struggling with assignments, and I have given them the same advice. Avoiding or ignoring work does not make it go away; it only adds to stress and anxiety. Tackling work in small time increments can help. And as always, ask for help. We are all here to help students feel safe and be successful.” Interviews were also conducted to get their perspective. Emma Bottitta, a freshman at our prestigious school, agrees that she had trouble managing her assignments at the beginning of the school year. Still, she figured out how to separate her school and social life, which aided her with her time. To keep track of her time, Emma uses reminders. Procrastination is a significant factor in poor time management, sometimes you don’t have the motivation to complete assignments, or you’re just plain stuck. Emma rarely procrastinates, as she likes to finish her work right after it is assigned to her. Still, when she does procrastinate, she hangs out with her friends and does other activities. Jack McCarthy, the second freshman that I interviewed, says that he’s had no trouble organizing his time because he makes sure to do his assignments right away as well. When he procrastinates every once and a while, he likes to watch youtube videos. When asked why he procrastinates, he said he thinks it’s because he doesn’t want to put in the effort to do the work. Just like the staff perspective, I also see a common theme coming from the students. The teachers have more of an omniscient view of what’s going on with the students because they have large classes and can get a more familiar idea of the students’ perspectives. COVID has also restricted students from being able to use in-person libraries and tutors. School is, without a doubt, very different than what is considered normal for us. Still, as this becomes the new normal, we will find new ways to tackle the challenges that come along with it. Stay safe.