By Celina Raymond
7:30. My alarm buzzes. Finalizing my fifth five-minute snooze, my eyes droop and burn, weighed down by exhaustion. I spent until 2 am cramming for a crucial exam. It will only take a couple more minutes of lethargy until I’m into fight or flight mode.
All I can think is, “I'm going to fail.”
I’m going to fail the test, fail the class, fail high school, not get into college, and be a burger flipper at McDonalds, which I will probably fail at too, and be forced to live in my parents’ basement for the rest of my life, until they kick me out or die.
And it’s not just me, all my friend have the same issues and fears as well.
It's no question that students are stressed. Pressure for a high GPA, outstanding standardized test scores, and the need to achieve a stellar social status is leading students to have in inhumane level of stress.
Students are becoming so overwhelmed with stress, they are resorting to the point were they just quit. Students are tired of asking themselves questions like,
“Where do I start?”
“How do I fix this?”
“Do I have time?”
“Is this good enough?”
These may seem like typical questions for students, but when we began judging the intelligence of students by the letter they’re given and the by the decimal point of their GPA, we created a whole new level of anxiety for students.
Compared to previous generations, epidemics of anxiety, depression, and stress are disproportionately more common in today’s students than ever before.
Psychology Today stated, “The average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950's.”
60 years ago, students today would have to be put in a mental hospital. Instead, at the expensive of their mental health, students are pushed to be triumphant in their academics and extracurriculars.
As a result, the pressure for prosperity deteriorates student’s mental health, which ironically, impedes academic success.
Schools are supposed to be there to teach us “real world knowledge” that is supposed to allow us to succeed and thrive in our future lives. Schools say they are helping teach social skills, appropriate behavior, as well as time and workload management; however, schools are highly focused on the numbers that define not only how intelligent the students are, but how good the district itself is.
If we continue to hold students to these standards, students will continue to stress, become overwhelmed, and lose confidence, which will all cause student’s self esteem’s to plummet. Consequently, only adding to the already present mental illness issues our youth is having.
Students are constantly complaining about fatigue, whether from long nights of studying and doing homework, or not being able to sleep in general. If you look at the relationship between students and stress, it is clear as day that the pressure school is putting on students is one of the major causes.
If school is causing enough stress to drastically increase depression, exhaustion, and lack of focus, then what is the common ground?
There is none for students anymore. Schools are doing more harm to their students than actually benefiting them. We need to reduce our students’ stress levels, or this epidemic is only going to get worst, and more problems are going to appear that we may not be able to solve.