Solving Stress in Students

Grace Rinier, MS Lead Editor

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After a long strenuous night of back and forth studying for the three tests he has tomorrow, this high school student is tired, overwhelmed, and stressed for the day ahead of him. Throughout the course of the school year, this 16-year-old boy has been dealing with the ugly side of being a student at this age in high school; However, it has only led to copious amounts of stress, along with nothing to show for it besides a few letter grades.

With the end of the year on the horizon, students in both middle and high school are all going through the same situation: stress.

Whether it be due to final exams, pressure from family or administration, or simply the overall workload that has been shoved onto your lap, stress is a key factor playing into this pivotal time of a teenager’s life. With that being said, it is important to know its origins and exactly how to manage it.

“Academic stress can be very detrimental to students as it can take a toll on their health, their emotions, or people close to them,” stated student Lauren Ronson.

What Causes Academic Stress?

The simple answer to this question could straightforwardly be school as its own entity. Despite this, the source of academic stress can root far deeper than that. At the baseline of this issue, the quantity of tests and quizzes given to a student and the quality of their performance is one of the major components here. A set of unrealistic yet ideal expectations have been given to students throughout their time in school. Students may have to prepare for a variety of tests the following day all in one night – all while expected to get “A”s on each of them. This type of pressure on anyone in this situation could lead to unnecessary negative ramifications involving stress.

The workload given to students as homework throughout school has employed copious amounts of stress onto them. It has come to a point for some students where homework has become another factor of busy-work, rather than a tool they can utilize to enhance their already sustained knowledge of the subject. According to blogs.cornell.edu, “A survey of high performing high schools by the Stanford Graduate School of Education, for example, found that 56% of students considered homework a primary source of stress.”

In recent years, the standards of parent’s themselves have grown a tremendous amount as well. Of course, a reasonable amount of aspiration from parents is expected when it comes to their own child’s education and future success, yet studies have shown that an excess of these habits can lead to counterproductive effects on students. These ideals of perfectionism which are laid upon a student at such a young age have growing potential to cause serious harm in the future.

What Can It Lead To?

Copious amounts of stress originating from a variety of areas have the potential to take their toll on the personal lives and mental states, which, in this case, specifically relate to the academic portion of the spectrum. An assortment of these effects include depression, anxiety, pains of any kind, sleeping problems, and a variety of other symptoms. “Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body,” states helpguide.org. It is clear that the average workload a student currently receives has potential to cause serious harm to them.

Throughout the almost impracticable standards students are expected to live up to, some have resorted to take an easy way out – cheating. The concept of cheating itself has grown to become a blatantly lazy scenario in which the student at hand has put absolutely no effort into such task whatsoever, despite the fact that this is not always the case. Sure, it is neither an ethical solution, nor a necessarily smart decision on one’s own part, but in some cases it may seem to be the only way to pass in some eyes.

As the vicious cycle of academic related stress continues, another possible outcome for situations that have arisen in spite of the problem could involve substance abuse. According to headsup.scholastic.com, “Stress can cause changes in the brain like those caused by addictive drugs. This suggests that some people who experience stress may be more vulnerable to drug addiction or drug relapse.” The connection between stress and the usage of drugs can have detrimental impacts on those who are exposed to it – especially at such a young age.

How to Manage It

Finding ways to manage stress can lead students to finding a variety of articles filled with repetitive and mundane “self-help” lists. It is vital to realize that some of these broad goals do not always apply to everybody. A simple “five minutes of exercise” or “taking a deep breath” will not necessarily solve all of your problems and automatically remove stress from your life. Every person has a tendency to deal with situations in their own way, and it will take different methods for everyone. If a serious issue seems to be presented, it is always important to reach out to someone and express how you feel.

“Academic stress can leave a negative impact on anyone it effects,” stated a Somerset parent. “It’s good to talk to somebody about it, especially if it becomes problematic.”

1 Comment

One Response to “Solving Stress in Students”

  1. Holly on May 23rd, 2018 1:33 pm

    This is an amazing article!!

    [Reply]

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