How School Stress Harms High schoolers

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How School Stress Harms High schoolers

Elaine Horne

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Picture a teenager, sitting at a desk, going over their homework assigned for the night; tonight’s agenda includes writing a two page essay for English, solving fifty problems for math, completing a science worksheet, front and back, studying for history, and making flashcards for Spanish. This describes a typical night for many highschool students. High schoolers often receive such massive amounts of work, both in and out of school, that it hurts them. A cohort study of 2,000 students found that, “School connectedness also predicted depressive symptoms 1 year later for both boys and girls, anxiety symptoms for girls, and general functioning for boys, even after controlling for prior symptoms. . . .” (School Connectedness is an Underemphasized Parameter in Adolescent Mental Health). High school students stress themselves out to the point of causing harm to their mental health. Many students ranging from elementary school to high school face the consequences and damages from school related stress. The fear of failing due to past struggles and setbacks may cause them to overwork themselves. Coupled with academic stress, teens feel pressure to fit in with a large friend group due to modern popularity standards. Also, as teens become more independent, they find themselves in new and risky situations where they need to make tough decisions; young adults are taught that they must to go to college to make it in life, and the only way to get into a great school involved working super hard in high school. They feel the pressure to pass every test, take as many advanced classes as possible, and join the right clubs, so they have options when it comes to college. Instead of motivating them, this pressure actually drags students down.
While school rewards students who work hard, these same students face numerous amounts of pressure and stress which causes mental health issues.