OPINION: Stress For High School Students



The high school years are undoubtedly four of the most important and stressful years in life. Studying, homework and assigned projects fill almost every waking hour of each day during the school year. The stress that builds over achieving a good grade can overwhelm even the calmest student.

Causes of stress in high school include the challenge of trying to juggle so much homework, along with extracurricular activities, all while trying to put the best effort into each, so that teachers and parents will be pleased. The transparency and pressure of social media can add undue stress, as well. Seniors, and even some juniors, have the added stress of college applications and preparation. According to Elizabeth Scott, MS, Stress makes you feel overwhelmed, you worry constantly, you either eat more or less, you barely get any sleep and you have mental breakdowns. She also says that stress is one of the leading causes for bad grades, lack of interaction in the classroom and lack of ability to pay attention in the classroom.

“I am stressed as of now,” junior Dylan Efrid said. “Whenever I finish a section of my homework I feel somewhat accomplished but I do believe we are assigned too much homework. “All of our teachers assign homework and it piles up. English piles onto math, math piles onto history and a lot of students have activities after school that take up our time and mental storage.”

Natalie Barnard, an English I and English II teacher at Mountain Vista, understands some areas in which students can be stressed out over school work.

“I think that kids are very stressed in high school and I think that the lack of education on how things work in terms of college applications has a part in stress,” Barnard said. “Social media is also a huge part of stress because the students get caught up in drama and that leads to the students falling behind on homework and that’ll also create more stress.”  

The good news is that there are ways to manage all of this stress.

According to a verywellmind.com article, listening to calm instrumental music can be a stress reliever. The tones and sounds in each song produce feelings of happiness and relaxation. The article recommends playing this type of music upon waking in the morning and during the morning commute, helping the day start out on a smoother note.

We’ve all heard encouraging phrases like, “think positive,” or “look on the bright side”. It turns out that there is some truth to it. Our mindset can affect stress levels. Positive thoughts are helpful in coping with stress, according to free affirmations,org. Positive thinking can reduce stress levels, improve self-worth and boost overall well-being and outlook. The organization recommends practicing positive thinking at least five to ten minutes a day.  

According to ShareCare, effective organization also reduces stress. Staying organized reduces stress levels by saving time, planning achievable schedules and building strong study and homework habits. 

If all else fails, sometimes, a deep breath and a quick mental time-out can do wonders to reduce stress. Remember, everything has a way of working out in the end.