Will teen stress become the next big epidemic?

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Will teen stress become the next big epidemic?

Stress may lead students to feel so overwhelmed they stop trying.

Stress may lead students to feel so overwhelmed they stop trying.

Photo: Jacky Lopez

Stress may lead students to feel so overwhelmed they stop trying.

Photo: Jacky Lopez

Photo: Jacky Lopez

Stress may lead students to feel so overwhelmed they stop trying.

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In today’s society, one of the most pressing problems that teenagers have to deal with is stress, especially when it involves school. Often teens are held to adult expectations, which leads to more pressure, and can cause them to spiral down into a deep hole. As a result, teens are experiencing more mental health problems like depression, anxiety, paranoia, etc. A study conducted by Teen Mental Health determined that one in five teens are diagnosed with some form of mental illness, and in many cases, stress can be a trigger.

Most students in high school go through some kind of stress at some point during their high school careers. One of the main causes of it is homework, and, typically, the higher the grade level, the higher the stress. For example, as a freshman or sophomore, depending the school,  students must quickly adapt to the change of pace they experience as a new high school student. Priorities usually include getting work done and making good grades.

Danielle Noe, sophomore, believes her stress has increased this year.

“Stress impacts me so much lately. I have the constant reminder that I need to get my work done from the days that I’ve missed,” said Noe. “I wish my life wasn’t so stressful.”

As juniors, students start realizing how quickly their high school years are flying by. Some students may have to add a part-time job to their already busy schedules, increasing the difficulty of the juggling act which is high school. Juniors may also find themselves more involved in clubs and activities.

Junior Sadee Crowder has joined FCCLA and found herself having difficulty juggling school work and extra-curricular activities.

Crowder said, “Stress is basically taking over my life right now. Half of my life is currently towards my star events for FCCLA. I’m only a junior in high school, yet I feel like a college student with a constant worry of will I finish this?”

As reported by Independent, 72 percent of students have admitted to feeling pressure from parents and teachers to reduce the amount of time spent on extra-curricular activities in order to make more time for their studies.

As students transition into senior year, they may find the previously mentioned problems are combined with an entirely new set of stressors. Now priorities may include things like ACT scores, trying to stay focused school work in the midst of senior-itis and still trying to maintain a social life. If this weren’t enough, for some, the pressure of applying to, being accepted into and paying for college enters the picture. For others, the race is on to find employment after high school.

Senior Kayla Henry has observed some negative side effects she attributes to her rising stress level.

“Stress has made my insomnia increase exponentially. I end up procrastinating for everything, then suddenly I cram at it last minute,” Henry said.

How often do you feel stressed out about school?

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With stress so many problems can happen to your children. You might not even know it because they may act cranky, be tired, or they may just not tell you anything because they don’t want you to worry about their school life. While going to school students don’t just stress about their work or school activities; they get stressed because they gotta meet social standards so they can be accepted into the public eye. They want to have a paycheck and spend it on what’s necessary. They’re slowly adjusting to becoming an adult however, they need to know the process of becoming one.

According to the American Psychological Association, nearly one third of the nation’s teens have reported lying awake at night as a result of stress, making them more likely to develop other health issues such as anxiety and depression.

There are a number of ways for teens to deal with the stress they may feel. Not everyone will cope with stress the same way, but everyone should find a way that works best for them. Some stress coping mechanisms include:

  • Exercise
  • Play video games
  • Sleep
  • Positive affirmations
  • Don’t take on too many things
  • Hang out with friends
  • Watch a movie
  • Talk to a friend
  • Meditating or deep breathing exercises

If you are feeling overwhelmed by stress talk to your parents, doctor or school counselor. You can even reach out to services like Teen Line for someone to talk to.


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