The Secret to Academic Success is Smashed Under Your Sneaker

Sorry Mr. McEvoy – science shows that chewing gum can boost student performance!

If $1.75 could buy you improved focus, higher test scores, better memory, alleviated anxiety and heightened alertness, perhaps it would seem too good to be true. All these great things, however, can be achieved from just one piece of gum — and when the only downside is its potential to stick under desks or chairs, it makes us wonder why one minor drawback causes it to be prohibited from most schools, including Millennium. Many studies show the academic benefits that gum can provide students; now, in schools, it’s time to acknowledge and utilize the newest secret weapon to success!

While Millennium’s student handbook firmly states that “ABSOLUTELY NO GUM CHEWING [is allowed] in school,” the school administration has made efforts to improve student mental health and help us reach our highest academic potentials. If gum has the ability to assist us in doing so, what’s achieved in forbidding it? A sophomore with ADHD, for example, tells me how chewing gum in class helps him “see an improvement in [his] work quality.” He also explains how, with gum, it’s easier to ignore distractions, and the student is overwhelmingly supported by studies that demonstrate how gum helps recall and memory tasks.

 

Another sophomore reveals: “I’m a fiend for gum; I eat it 24/7 in school, and it helps calm me whenever I’m nervous for a test.” Chewing gum can, in fact, lower your cortisol levels during stressful circumstances, and for many students who see test-taking as a major cause of anxiety, gum can center their minds when they have pages of algebra or physics questions to answer (or a really long, super boring newspaper article to read).

 

When polled, only 27% of Millennium sophomores claimed that they currently chew gum in school, but the statistic changed drastically when they were asked whether they would chew gum if it was allowed (and free of cost); in response to that question, over 85% vocalized that they would. Furthermore, considering that we are mature high-schoolers, the student body is responsible enough to discard their gum in the trash can, which will help avoid the alleged stickiness under desks (because those few students who are going to stick it under a  table will do it regardless of a rule).

Ultimately, if we were permitted to chew gum in class, Millennium’s student body, teachers, and staff would feel the multitude of positive effects, both inside and outside of the classroom. And, if you’re a student unsure of where to begin your gum journey, sophomore Ava Zelisko declares that “Polar ice is the way to go!”