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Stress in High school: should steps be taken?

posted Nov 17, 2015, 9:33 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Nov 17, 2015, 9:34 AM ]

Picture from CEMassage



Throughout my high school experience, I have been told that each year gets better, that my senior year would not be stressful; that it would be fun. Now, as a senior, I realize how wrong that is for all students who try to stay on top of their school work.

In February of last year, the American Psychological Association ran a survey to compare stress levels of teenagers to adults. In their findings, teenagers reported that their stress levels were higher than what they considered to be healthy. On a 10 point scale, teenagers placed their stress levels at 5.8, while the adult average is placed at 5.1. Both adults and teenagers are above the 3.9 that is considered healthy.

Not only are teenagers reported to be more stressed than adults, but they are less likely to say something about it or ask for help. 52 percent of teens say that stress has no impact on their mental health, and 43 percent of adults state the same, even though there is scientific research stating the devastating effects of stress on the mind and body.

As this research shows, students believe that they can handle their stress, or they do not recognize the effect that it can have on their physical and mental health. I am not surprised by these findings. As a high school student, teachers and administrators are always telling us to “keep your grades up,” “be involved in your school,” “volunteer,” and the famous line “have some fun.” What they don’t understand, or maybe choose not to acknowledge, is how much these activities wear us down. Trying to do all of these things at once is the root cause of teenage stress.

According to the study, 31 percent of students say that their stress has increased in the past year, and 34 percent say they expect their stress to increase. I believe that something needs to be done to help students lower their stress levels, whether it be teachers giving less homework or not being involved in all activities. Maybe mental health days for students are in the future, but no matter what is decided, something needs to be done.
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