End of year stress: students panic
It’s 11 p.m. A stack of books threatens to topple over onto your desk. Crumpled papers litter the ground around your overflowing trash can. You take another gulp of your energy drink and try to read one page, just one more page.
The end of the school year promises summer vacation and, for seniors, Graduation. However, there are the dragons of AP, IB, and EOC tests along with Gold Medallion exhibitions to slay first. As the workload piles on and summer seems impossibly far away, many students feel over pressured and incredibly stressed.
Chronic stress can raise blood pressure, wreak havoc on your immune system, increase depression and anxiety, and cause sleep problems. In a nutshell, it can really mess up your life. Near the end of the year, many of us go around stuck on stress mode.
Before her exhibition, senior Nicki Grant said she was stressed “because exhibitions are coming up and I don’t want to mess up.”
Senior Andrea Bannick only gestured to a face that was not happy.
“Just write down my expression,” she said.
What are students supposed to do about it?
It’s not a good idea to cancel all of your tests and drop out of school to avoid high blood pressure. But believe it or not – many of us may care too much.
I know, I know. When you’re slaving over an assignment and a sibling or parent tells you not to worry about it, it’s annoying. These assignments, tests, etc., matter. But they shouldn’t matter so much that it’s killing you.
“I think it can have a big impact on your physical health if you’re over abundantly stressed,” agreed Grant.
Students can get sucked into cycles of negative thinking. ‘I’m not going to study enough. I’m going to fail the test. I’m going to fail the class. I’m not going to graduate.’ Although a little stress can serve as motivation, too much can easily dig you into a hole that seems impossible to climb out of. Apathy isn’t the answer, but our lives don’t revolve around perfection either.
The atmosphere at school can work either way. Teachers and counselors, trying to be supportive, may instead whip up a panic. Students may not feel that they’re doing enough, or think that they’re doing something wrong. This isn’t always the case, though.
“Our counselors are trying to get us unstressed right now,” said senior Erin Kinghorn.
Stress doesn’t just hurt you. Hanging out with someone having a mental breakdown is no fun for anyone, and it can start rubbing off on others. Panic is contagious.
I know I’m guilty of over stressing. We all are. Still, in the long run we’re doing no one any favors.
So chill out, Northtown. You’ll thank me later