“I have a lot of homework”

“I have a lot of work to finish.” “ I need to study for a test tomorrow.” If you’re anything like me, it’s likely you’ve said similar words before to a family member. You use those eight little words like a Get Out of Jail Free Pass in hopes that you’ll be exempt from participating in whatever family event you’re supposed to attend. And the best part? It actually works.


As teenagers, we tend to want to keep to ourselves when it comes to socializing with family members. We don’t have much in common with older relatives and, oftentimes, we end up stuck answering awkward questions. So, we use our need to do well academically as an excuse to get alone time when, in reality, we’re probably watching YouTube videos or scrolling through Instagram.


But have we ever stopped to think about how bad this habit is and how it affects our relationships with loved ones?


When we avoid talking to or even seeing relatives, we miss out on any real, quality family time–it sounds a bit cheesy, but it’s true. Our high school years are important for maturing and developing strong bonds with other people. While we might only want to focus on cementing our friendships, our family members are often the ones who want to connect with us the most. It won’t be long until many of us leave for college, and we will not be able to talk to them for an even lengthier period of time.


By trying to get out of family outings, we’re ultimately building a wall around ourselves and further disintegrating our kinship. Family, as much as we feel distanced from them, are the closest people in our lives and therefore, we should try to foster a supportive and reliable connection with them.


Although these excuses may work now, they are only temporary and have become nothing but an unhealthy habit. So the next time you try to outsmart your parents and think you can get out of another family gathering, think again. In the long run, it’s not going to do you or your familial relationships any good because it teaches dishonesty and acting upon the lack of genuine desire to see one another.
Not only should we be honest with ourselves about the amount of work we have, we should also view family time as something to be cherished. That means being responsible, planning ahead and being willing to sacrifice time in order to free up time for family. It’s difficult—I know. I admit that I have been guilty on multiple accounts of pretending to be busy simply to avoid talking to my family. And sometimes I actually am that busy. However, the first step for any of us is to recognize the importance of spending time with relatives and how that will lead to better family relations.


By Sabrina Wan, Editor-in-Chief