Taking Time Off Adds Time On

Erika Wagoner


Waking up from anesthesia and I took a picture of myself. I don’t remember taking the photo but it represents how “out of it” I was. Photo Credit / Erika Wagoner

I was patiently waiting in the doctor’s office to schedule the time for my upcoming surgery. I was going to get my tonsils and adenoids removed. The sooner the better, I think to myself. Now, the danger of surgery comes to mind. Then the worry of missing two weeks of school due to the surgery and recovery time. It seems like the world has to stop in order to stay on top of everyday life.
While recovering from my surgery, the removal of my adenoids and tonsils, I didn’t have the energy to do anything. While I was gone for 10 days, I was expected to be able to get the assigned work done while also feeling dreadful. This was especially hard while on oxycodone for pain. The effects of it were drowsiness and a sense of euphoria. While feeling tired and really relaxed, I could not focus on my work to get it done at an ‘A’ grade level. If I had less homework to complete, I would have felt more at ease to focus on healing.
I had a lot on my mind that ranged all the way from ‘I want to give up’ to ‘I’m going to get things done.’ All of the work I was expected to do while feeling like I got hit by a car made everything seem so out of control. If I would’ve had less homework to do, I would’ve felt a little less stressed throughout my recovery. I didn’t know where to begin with the amount of homework I had to do.
According to www.attendanceworks.org, a website that studies the way attendance issues affect students says, “Research shows that missing 10 percent of  school, or about 18 days in most schools districts, negatively affects a student’s academic performance.”
Missing one day of school is stressful enough for a student because they have  to make up five classes worth of work. Imagine missing two weeks or more, having to email your teachers to try and get as much make-up work as you can. Missing out on learning time and having to teach yourself is the hardest because you can never understand the material as well as you would if you were in class.
School is five days a week and there are 5 classes in a day. Now, multiply the days of schools missed by the five classes in a day. Based off a two week surgery and recovery that’s 50 assignments the student needs to make up, assuming there is homework every night from each class. This doesn’t include in-class assignments, such as tests, that need to be made up after school. This can become stressful because that time is needed to make up other work.
While recovering, it is hard to to do anything because you feel horrible. With loads of homework waiting to be done, teachers could help missing student feel less overwhelmed by excusing unnecessary assignments and only giving the student work that is crucial to teaching them new material that they have missed.
Due to all the work and time I was spending trying to get caught up, I felt stressed, tired, overwhelmed and exhausted. There were days where I’d be lying in bed it felt like I had no control over my life and what I needed to do. As if school wasn’t enough, I had 50 plus assignments I needed to get done in the two week span that I missed.
If you have to get surgery or have to leave school for awhile, try and do it closer to a break so you don’t miss as much and aren’t stressed out. It’s been 3 weeks since I’ve returned to school and I am still working on getting school work caught up.