Students are exhausted from academic stress


Olivia Mosesman, News Editor

High school students are expected to get the perfect grades, the perfect SAT or ACT scores, take many AP and honors classes while being involved in as many extracurricular activities as humanly possible.

Many of these students do all of these things to get into the most prestigious college possible. Parents and teachers encourage students to strive for perfectionism because they believe that it will
lead to a good college degree which leads to making a good living which equals happiness, but there is a big downside: overly scheduled and overly stressed students, which have become the new normal.

According to a survey published by the American Psychological Association in February 2014, teens said their stress level was 5.8 on a 10 point scale, while adults had a 5.1 on that same scale. Of the teens surveyed, 83 percent reported that school stresses them out and 69 percent said that getting into a good college and deciding what to do after high school gives them stress.

In my opinion, students deal with too much stress from school. They have overwhelming amounts of homework, anxiety about tests and grades, and only enough time in the day for school work, eating, and sleeping. Students are not working machines, and doing homework isn’t the only thing on their schedules. They should be able to do extracurriculars, exercise, take breaks when needed, and get an adequate amount of sleep.

“It’s like a choice between whether you want to get your homework done or you want to be a happy person,” senior Amanda Klarin said.

For some students, it may seem that there is little they can do to temper their stress. However, there are many ways that can help students with this problem such as talking to their teachers and guidance counselors.

Students should remember that teachers and guidance counselors are there to help them academically. If students do not talk to school staff, they will not realize the gravity of this issue. Basically, they cannot help if they don’t know.

If students feel that their homework stress is affecting their emotional health, a good way to address this problem is talking to a personal counselor at Mater Dei. Personal counselors let students open up about their problems and give them mindfulness exercises, which can be good for students to de-stress and pay attention to the present moment.

“One of the [mindfulness exercises] that I usually recommend first of is … called the 54321,” said Lisa Kearley, a personal counselor at Mater Dei said. “It taps into the student’s five senses. So it’s sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste, and they can do it in any order that they want and while they’re sitting in their desk.”

It may seems that there is no way to escape the stress that students have about academics, college, and their futures. However, there are resources that can really help students be less stressed while performing to the best of their academic abilities.