Elementary and middle school students dream of the days they can be in high school, going to football games, finding their best friends, driving, and gaining more freedom to do all the things they want to do. They dream of having a high school experience like Troy and Gabriella from “High School Musical”–singing and dancing through the hallways while maintaining a healthy relationship and not worrying about grades.
Sadly, this is not the reality of high school. Students are more involved and stretch themselves as thin as possible between work, school, activities, and sports. Many kids don’t have time to break into a musical theater number in the middle of the cafeteria.
Students are under more pressure than ever so they can be successful in the future. Staying up until 1 a.m., surviving on Celsius and any form of caffeine they can to stay awake. Schedules so full they don’t have any time for themselves, which is unhealthy for their social life and mental state.
Junior Liz Lyons is well aware of the stresses students face. She works at Starbucks while also being involved in golf, LINK Crew, taking AP classes, and participating in Student Council. She has an additional job of running Student Council’s marketing on Instagram. She is an overachiever in academics and activities.
“It’s not stress about the actual homework, it’s stress about when I’m going to get everything that I need to get done,” Lyons said. “And also having free time to have fun with friends and go to activities. So I feel stressed quite frequently…I also have an expectation for myself. I just like to be held to a certain standard and when I’m not meeting that, I get really disappointed in myself.”
Many students like Lyons hold themselves to a higher standard that can sometimes be hard to meet. Kids are expected to be responsible and get everything done, but success in school is only achievable if students take time for themselves and relieve the stress that has culminated.
Why do students put themselves through all of this stress? Junior Kylie Krause, who is very involved in school and activities, thinks the work is worth it so she can have more opportunities after high school.
“I want to get good grades so I can be eligible for more after high school, ” Krause said. “I want to be accepted into more colleges, creating bigger opportunities outside of high school.”
Both students shared that they have found ways that have helped them relieve their stress. Lyons stressed the importance of alone time as well as time spent with loved ones.
“It’s hard because I try to spend time with my friends or family, but it’s hard when I have a lot of things going on,” Lyons said. “I like to go to the golf course, even if I’m by myself. I think trying to find time to relax and spend time with people I care about is important.”
Another way to relieve stress is to go hang out with friends and have a well-deserved dessert after her hard work in and outside the classroom.
“To relieve stress, I like to hang out with friends, go on drives, or even just get ice cream,” Krause said.
As school progresses more stress might arise. Finding ways to balance school and life can make you more successful in and outside of school.