Academic Stress in Teens

Regina, Journalist

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V.I.S.A-  High school students tend to begin experiencing stress at school and at home, due to the excessive amount of work and extracurricular given to the students. Although extracurricular activities are generally chosen by the student, high school should be a time where the student should be able to branch out and find things they are passionate about. Academic stress can be characterized by the mental distress felt by students when they are given excessive and unnecessary school work, along with high expectations set by their parents.

     In a 2015 study carried out by NYU, focused on juniors in a private school, where it was revealed that 49% of the students interviewed felt a great amount of stress on a daily basis, whereas 31% feel somewhat stressed. Some of these causes included grades, homework, and college preparations. Arguably, parental pressure has the greatest effect on the students academic choices/ outcomes. As stated in the NYU study by a teacher with 28 years of experience in the private school sector, “Parents are coming in and thinking, I’m (spending a lot of money) and I need to get something, a very tangible something. A great education is not a tangible something; a diploma from Harvard, Princeton or Yale …that’s tangible.” Not only does this place a great amount of stress on the student, but it can also lead to the weakening of their mental health function.

     Although the study was based on a private education, students of public school have definitely felt it too. When Anarely, a high school student, was asked how much stress she feels daily she responded, “On a scale of 1-10 I feel like on an average day I’m stressed at an 8 because I participate in several extra curricular activities, and although at times it may not seem like a lot of work, it all adds up from all the classes which can be very overwhelming.” This goes to show that academic stress affects anyone and can lead to undesired consequences. Students should not become susceptible to mental health issues at such a young age, they should be enjoying their life as kids. Some of these issues may include depression and anxiety.