School Stress Affecting Student Health

Although junior Maya Moore does not appear to endure the daily struggle of hard classes and school stress, she is the perfect representation of a student challenging herself and feeling overwhelmed at times. Moore takes AP Chemistry, AP US History, AP Calculus, AP Art History, and Honors American Literature. Moore is also a part of the cross country and track and field teams. She looks at sports as an outlet to help her cope with the homework, tests, labs, and projects that are laid on her every day.

When asked how she deals with the stress from school, Moore laughed and said “I don’t. I repress it until I feel very unstable.”

Yet like many students at CVHS, Moore stays positive about the classes and challenges she faces.

“I’m sure there are kids who are more stressed out than I am,” she said.

Being stressed is not only a part of school, but also a part of life. Anxiety is considered normal, especially when you know there are other students at CVHS taking more difficult or challenging classes than you. The pressure that school puts on students can be overwhelming at times and makes us all feel strained during class and at home. As finals and AP testing begins, the anxiety will only grow.

Some believe that extreme pressure put on teenagers is leading to more depression and suicides. According to CNN, the rate of suicide has not only been increasing since 1999, but the rate of increase has also grown by two percent each year from 2006 to 2014.

Palo Alto High School and others in the area have been experiencing an increasing number of student suicides in the past years. “Twelve percent of Palo Alto High School students surveyed in the 2013–14 school year reported having seriously contemplated suicide in the past 12 months,” according to The Atlantic. These suicide clusters are becoming more and more common among students and adolescents. According to The Atlantic, the district was stocked with suicide-prevention experts and put together a comprehensive post-suicide “toolkit” which trained the staff on what to do to help prevent another cluster from developing.

School is only the base of stress for many students. We forget to think about the drama in relationships and everything else we are figuring out at this point in our lives. Trying to gracefully get through each semester can almost seem impossible. Students are in need of strong guidance and direction from more than just their counselor.

“Students are feeling more overwhelmed, and I think it’s because we’re putting more on them as teachers, educators, and schools,” said health teacher Sue Anderson. “We are not teaching students how to manage stress on a day to day basis.”

Dealing with stress plays a major role in how a person functions. Naturally, teenagers must figure out ways to handle the workload, however having a mentor to guide you through the process and give you supplementation explanations like Mitragyna Speciosa extract would relieve some of the pressure. Many adolescents are left with not only stacks of books, but also the anxiety and sometimes depression that comes along with it. At times we can all relate to the burden of not knowing how to manage our school anxiety.

“Not everyone knows how to navigate the buildup of stress,” said Anderson. “We are not having that collective conversation, and its critical.”

Awareness is the first step in addressing the strain students are currently facing. Admitting the issue will not only make students feel they are being noticed, but also provide relief that everyone is going through something. Whether it’s a hard class or the pressure of testing, knowing that CVHS staff have their complete concern and interest in you helps more than you can imagine.

“We don’t teach about emotional intelligence to the degree that we need to across the board,’ said Anderson. “Students, staff, and the community need to start talking to each other.”

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