Stressin’ Out

Stressin' Out

Student working
So much work. So little time. (hercampus.com)
by Jackie Moreno, Features Reporter

It is 7:25 in the morning, students reluctantly pace in a zombie like manner to a class that they feel will not benefit them in the long run. They lack the energy to pretend that they actually like their loud and obnoxious classmates. Some of these students would rather be at home watching Netflix with the opportunity to catch some sleep than be sitting in the same spot for an hour listening to some teacher go on and on about dreadfully boring topics.
Teachers constantly push students into higher opportunities that colleges would be interested in such as honors and AP classes.
Sophomore Bailey Norman is currently taking all honors classes, with the exception of one AP class. She says the class is already giving her some unbearable stress.
“The class is so fast paced”, Bailey said of her AP class, “I don’t even have enough time to copy down notes that I need for those challenging tests. That class scares me, that is how stressful it is.”
Some of these students fear disappointment from their parents, which pushes them harder and harder to do their work.
“It’s hard having to balance sports and school,” said Sophomore Destiny Mejia, “and the worst part about it is that parents don’t even understand how much pressure we’re under, and they’re like, ‘Oh you’re 15 years old, you shouldn’t be so stressed!’ It’s annoying!”
Many teachers who do not consider their students’ mental health to be as important as having physical injuries do not help either. It’s aggravating how a teacher automatically assumes that because we do not understand the information we are not reaching our true potential. Some teachers need to understand just how much pressure a student is under, how much they can take before they crumble under pressure, and how much one bad grade on an exam can affect their self-esteem.
Most Honors and AP teachers assign homework throughout the entire week. Some of these honors and AP classes are so fast paced that it is a shocker that a student hasn’t collapsed from exhaustion yet. Their social lives outside of school drastically lessen as the tower of work gradually increases. They are not able to enjoy doing the things they love the most without having to worry about finishing their honors class assignments. Some students even stay up during the wee hours of the morning finishing school assignments that were pushed aside for that pesky English essay.
“I literally get 2 hours of sleep the nights after I go to my CCA classes,” said Sophomore Jordan Davis. The next day the cycle is repeated all over again. Students sit through Math confused and ready to cry because they do not understand or comprehend what the teacher automatically wants them to.
Some students are already on the verge of having a nervous breakdown due to the stress that school brings them. It is idiotic how teenagers are already under so much pressure to be perfect for a place that does not teach them important concepts on how to succeed in life, like how to get a job, but how to graph a unimportant equation.
Teachers shouldn’t force a student with social anxiety to go up and talk in front of the class for a grade. I mean, since when has reciting a conversation in front of the group been important? If you force a student with social anxiety or OCD to talk in front of the class with the fear of embarrassing themselves, it is like sending a student with a broken leg to do laps in P.E. class. School forces these poor students who wish to rest and live in a stress free environment to wake up before the sun even rises and force them to socialize with others.
These students share different likes and dislikes, and if you force them into learning about a subject they could care less about, of course they are going to be miserable; it is like prison, where you are forced to do hard labor for no reward. All this stress can affect the health of a teenagers’ life. The mental health of students could gradually worsen due to the amount of pressure to be perfect put upon them by teachers, not to mention the pressure outside of school.

stressed-student1
Student struggling to study (collegetimes.com)

They could become physically ill, fatigued, have headaches, and have difficulty sleeping at night due to the fear that they may never catch up with their class work. The student mind is not able to sleep at night because it goes over the plans for the next day. They find themselves rushing to complete tasks in order to catch up with their peers. They fear that if they fall behind they will never catch up with the other students in there, destroying their self-esteem. “A little stress is a good thing,” says Mary Alvord, clinical psychologist in Maryland and public education coordinator for the American Psychological Association in an interview done by nrp.org that surveyed students of all levels on the toll that school stress had on their health, “It can motivate students to be organized. But too much stress can backfire.” Stress shows that you’re freaking out over assignments that need to be completed and coming to terms with completing tasks in your everyday lives. Knowing an assignment is due in less than a month and counts for a big chunk of your grade freaks some out, since they know that they must deavote their time to doing this.
Some of this school stress comes from homework, according to a new NPR poll conducted with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. In the same article done by Windshift, they talked to high school junior Nora Huynh. Huynh reached that point in her high school experience where it was time to start thinking about her future and opportunities to take college classes for extra credit. Her dream was crushed when she recently received her report card for the disappointing surprise: She didn’t get that perfect 4.0.Her mother could not bear to see her daughter so upset, nor could she bear what the stress was doing to her physical and mental health.
Huynh constantly suffers headaches due to the stress of school and becomes easily irritated by her siblings. A few other students in the article claimed that stress from high school never leaves them once they began college and that the pressure to be perfect makes them feel overwhelmed with the work.
Parents who do not want their children to crumble under the pressure like Nora did try their best to help their children through the stress but the child has negative thoughts running through their heads that ‘What if” thinking: “What if I get a bad grade, then what if that means I fail the course, then I will never get into college.” Do not think this, one bad grade does not make you a failure, you are an intelligent individual, and you do not have to try harder to the point where you are about to have a nervous breakdown.
Now the real question is, are students allowing themselves to become stressed and overwhelmed by their schoolwork.Students know what they can and can’t take, and they shouldn’t force themselves to take all honors or AP classes simply to impress colleges. An improved way to manage their time so they won’t be under so much pressure is separating work time earlier so the student won’t have to worry about it later, while leaving a relaxation and stress-free time for later.
If a student wishes to not be under so much pressure, they need to come to terms with the fact that they are not perfect; nobody is, so why should they be? Students shouldn’t worry so much about the work, they should do the best they can, that’s been the rule since they entered school for the first time.
It’s unhealthy for you to become physically and emotionally tired of stressing yourslef out too much. Do whatever you can, if you want to take an honors class, take an honors class, but if you feel like it would be too much for you, then don’t take one. You’re still a smart cookie. Don’t worry, be happy, and aviod stressing yourself to the max.
Life is a celebration, and school is very important, but you shouldn’t continue stressing yourself out to make everyone else happy. Take charge of your life and chill out.

Students working in English class
Students in English class (Jackie Moreno)