Is the Stress on Students Too Much?

Jaden Spitzer, Student

American society has become increasingly aware of mental health and its importance. Stress and other situational factors have a heavy impact on mental health. There are many high stress environments. One of those many environments is the school setting, specifically high school. Not only are there academic stressors in high school, but there are also social stresses. Not to mention, the responsibilities students have outside of school, such as part time jobs, clubs, sports, family affairs, drivers education, and other events. Some stress and difficulty is important to foster growth, but is the amount high school students are experiencing too much?

On top of their daily stressors, high school students are pressured to prepare for their future, mainly for college. Students are expected to know what they want to do with their life and society has decided that having a future means going to college. Of course, in order to get into college students need to keep their grades up. 61% of teens have voiced that they feel a lot of pressure to get good grades. American teens rate their stress level (out of ten) on average at a 5.8, compare this to the 3.8 average of adults. 

After interviewing five students, three of them identified school as their main source of stress. One of the students stated that they did not know where their stress came from and that it was most likely a mix of things, saying that their main source of stress was life itself and rating their stress at “2 million out of ten”. One of the interviewees said that she found school manageable, although there was a lot of work. This student rated her stress level at a 6 for the school year and a 4.5 for that current week. Another student, who rated her stress level at only a 2, mentioned struggling in math, and said that their stress level was at a six or seven in math alone. Yet, another student who identified school as their main source of stress rated their stress at an average of 8 out of 10, explaining that it was mostly because of their homework load. 

Another student rated her stress for the week at a 9 out of 10 and her average stress for the school year at a 10 out of 10. She mentioned that, “I have a lot going on and I have been exhausted to be honest. Especially with school work. People are just loading it on right now, which is no bueno, not good.” She also expressed that she had been really overwhelmed coming back from quarantine. She mentioned having spoken to other students on the subject of the school year, stating that, “I have talked to some people and they said they feel like they can’t take time away from school for themselves.” She finds this very concerning as self care is very important. 

Whether or not the stress on students is too much, taking time for yourself and taking care of your mental health is extremely important for your overall well being. It’s good for people to have extra time to do the things they love and be with those they care about.