Surging Amounts of Stress in Students

Teens Facing Stress at Unprecedented Levels

Finding Balance: Through the intense volume of music, Andrew Blankenship (21) tries to balance his extracurriculars and school work. “Before and after school I spend my time working with my show choir team,” Blankenship said. “As soon as I get done working with them, I go home, grab a quick snack and then work on my homework until I’m ready to go to sleep.” He has a busy schedule with before and after school practices and tries hard to balance the stress of it all.

Students are stressed during the school week for many different reasons such as crazy sleeping hours due to too much homework or worrying about upcoming exams, the fear of failure and not getting enough downtime. Although some complain about homework due to their lack of time management skills. Students have a hard time balancing classwork and after school or club activities.
All throughout the school year, their workload starts to pile up to the point where they do not get enough sleep at night. I do not usually get to bed until around eleven at night, or even early the next morning due to too much homework given to students by teachers. Since I do not go to sleep at a decent time, I am tired during the day and do not accomplish anything at school. The cycle continues every day. According to the CDC, 7 out of 10 high school students do not get the proper amount of sleep on school nights, which is between 8 to 10 hours. I propose that teachers space out their assignments to better compensate for not giving students homework from every class during the school day.
Along with an improper sleeping schedule, teens are experiencing a fear of failure in school. According to a UC Burkley professor, fear of failure links directly to how the individual feels about their self worth or the belief that they are a valuable person. I can relate to the feeling of failure in school because my parents push me to get As on every test and homework assignment. It has come to a point where I feel like I must get at least a 94% or else they will not be happy with me. This comes down to lowering my feeling of self-worth if I do not exceed my parents’ expectations.
Teens feel the stress of having to go to practice after school, an extracurricular activity, or a club sports team once the school day ends. Most have an after school job that kids have to rush to the right as school ends just to make it on time and then work late and still have to do their school work. I play a club sport and have practices after school and on the weekends which does not give me much time to do my homework or time with my friends and family. According to Katherine Williamson, M.D., FAAP, kids are not getting enough downtime, whether they are a “three-sport athlete or spend all their time online, not leaving any room for their mind and body to slow down has serious effects on both their mental and physical state.” Taking time to turn off electronics and taking a 10-minute walk can help teens with unplugging and, in a way, help to fix their mental and physical state.
Students need anywhere from 8 to 10 hours of sleep in order to be ready for the next day. Most teens are not getting near enough asleep as needed, as well as not getting enough downtime during the week and the fear of failure to produce in school. Each situation adds more stress to students. Although students may enjoy their after-school activities, it can be too much for them to balance their practices and schoolwork. After the facts, students are stressed for multiple reasons and need help to find a way to balance everything in their lives.