FHS Students Under More Stress Than Meets the Eye


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Picture yourself as a metaphorical duck on a metaphorical pond. You have kick furiously with your legs under the water to stay afloat – but above the water, everyone passing by seems to think you’re calm and collected. Your struggles feel invisible to others. Walk the halls of FHS and you’ll find lots of teenagers trying hard to stay afloat.

According to an article by Sandra Levy, when it comes to stress, more than seventy percent of students say that they are “often or always stressed over schoolwork”. Approximately 56% say homework has been a primary stressor. Additionally, 45% of students in high school admit to being stressed almost every single day in school. 61% of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 feel stress over getting good grades.

To dig deeper into the high school mindset, we interviewed a few Boro students at different stages of their high school experience for an inside look on stress and its repercussions.  Logan Garrison, a sophomore, said  the thing that stresses him the most in school is the amount of homework that is given. Senior Grace Shave shared the same sentiments: “What stresses me out most in school would be homework. Students do things outside of school such as working, sports, or clubs and sometimes it can be hard to stay on top of everything.”

Time seems to be a major stressor for a lot of students. Juniors in school are trying to figure out what colleges they want to look at next year – but too often they find there are not enough hours in a day. One anonymous student stated, “With upcoming stuff like exams, quizzes, homework on top of college stuff. It makes me feel overwhelmed with the thought of thinking about the future and fearful how I might be missing something in the present.” Another anonymous junior admitted to constantly feeling stressed about “Homework and the pressure of completing assignments by the due dates without guidance.”

The National Center for Education Statistics found that high school students receive an average of 6.8 hours of homework each week. That seems manageable, doesn’t it? Well, think again. Perhaps the homework gets done on time, but what about the tests in school?

“I am not a good test taker,” confesses an anonymous junior who is also on the softball team, “so I feel like no matter how much I study I never do as well as I should have. With homework I feel that it adds a lot on my plate and I find myself feeling burnt out.” 

With the stress, how do we as high school students we look at different outlets to relieve some of it? Music seems to be one of the major outlets. Whether it be rap, classical, or rock and roll, music will always be there for us. In fact, Grace Shave said that the number one thing that helps relieve her stress is music. Logan Garrison agreed. Even yours truly clicks Spotify when I am feeling stressed from homework or the pressures of the future. Others look to family and friends to help destress. Two juniors at Boro both spoke about how talking with friends and family in and out of school helps to ease stress. Others might look towards video games as a momentary escape. 

Some students might agree that stress affects our ability to work because some of us struggle to multitask and when there are a lot of stressors our brains find it hard to focus on the task at hand, let alone rank our tasks in order of importance. That can be exhausting. An anonymous junior says, “Stress impacts me on a daily basis and it’s gotten to the point where I always feel exhausted and in a really bad mindset.”

All our interviewees advise students with homework overload, do not be a perfectionist, and simply accept that you have homework as part of school. The problem with that is that as high school students, we have a ton of stressors that impact our abilities whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. So, while you might see someone like that duck on the pond, calm above the water, and you think that they are all right, remember that their feet are always kicking.