From nail biter to worry wart…

Posted on November 7, 2011

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Stress.  This is one of the “sicknesses” that doesn’t have a cure.  Its cancerous effects can leave someone feeling completely drained and just wiped out.  So where exactly does it come from?  Well, actually it comes from a great many things.  According to a generic poll, it can come from school, studies, parents, and for seniors, college applications. 

However, does stress just come from external factors?  Is it possible that stress can come from within?  Do we put pressures on ourselves that lead to stress?

Beta club member Madison Wall, stated, “I think that teens are very concerned with their futures. While parents, teachers, and other certainly do put pressure on us to succeed, we put a great deal of stress on ourselves. Self-motivation is great, but it is only a small step towards self-deprecation if we are always adding on more responsibilities when our plates are full. We put a disproportionate amount of stress on ourselves because we are disillusioned about the importance of being ‘well-rounded’.”

In a study under the Clinical Psychology Review, it is suggested that more “high school and college students deal with mental anxiety today than teens from the Great Depression Era.”

Even though a lot of stress comes from things we can’t control, what about the stress that we have power over?  For example, when we choose classes, do we choose the more advanced ones because we think it looks good on college applications?  Sometimes we don’t think about what the class entails, which can come to surprise us throughout the semester, causing stress.  So why do we do this? 

“Students push themselves into honors and AP classes because they feel like it is expected. Students believe that they have to make the highest grades or they won’t get into college. However, occasionally, there are students that want to be in AP classes because they are passionate about the subject and higher learning. Our society as a whole puts too much emphasis on high GPA’s and class rank; this pushes students into classes that they are not prepared for,” stated Madison. 

Mrs. Bowles said that there are several reason as to why students sign up for advanced classes: “1) Parents tell them to 2) The student has an interest in the subject 3) The student wants to improve their GPA to get into a particular school 4) Their friends are in the class.”

Given these reasons, can the stress come from the teachers in these classes?  Is there such thing as “homework overload” or even overload in general? 

“The amount of homework may not be the root of the stress. The stress may be because the student is involved with other activities after-school, such as sports, clubs, and jobs and therefore, does not have enough time to complete their homework,” says Mrs. Bowles.  “If a student went home immediately after-school, ate a snack, did 1 hour of homework before eating dinner and 2 hours after dinner then they could be done with their homework by 8PM. Instead many students try to complete hours of homework in the evening, causing them to be up past a reasonable bedtime. Then they get tired and the cycle repeats itself.”

So the counter part to stress would be what?  What is it that helps us cope with the stress we are put through? 

Madison says, “I cope with stress by hanging out with my friends and family. Sometimes I take a Saturday and play tennis with my dad, or watch movies with my mom. A little bit of comfort food, a long shower, and a great book go a long way.”

So, where does your stress come from?  What does it take to lead a stress free life?

Reported by Kylie Wright                                                                          

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Posted in: Teen Issue