November Editorial: Dealing with Stress and Anxiety in High School

Transitioning into high school can feel overwhelming for students as the intensity of the courses increase and they want to maintain a relatively high GPA. Throughout the school year, it is common for students to express how they feel overwhelmed academically as they feel pressured to keep up their grades while also participating in extracurricular activities such as sports and clubs or potentially even balancing a job as well.

Although it is stressed by teachers that freshman year is highly important, which is true, this adds onto the stress and anxiety that many students are already experiencing. Throughout the year, many students express how overwhelmed they feel as they try to complete their workload as they begin to adjust to the increased intensity of their classes.

Looking back to my freshman year, I could have performed more efficiently if I had listened to all those who had informed me that freshman year was the year to set a high GPA or even get more involved with extra activities.

As there are many students who have a hard time managing school work and extracurricular activities, it is important to know that there are resources out there that can be helpful in maintaining relatively high grades as well as performing better academically overall.

Academic teachers as well as guidance teachers are helpful resources to students in assisting with their emotional well being which most students are not aware of. Most students tend to express their feelings with their peers and friends instead of seeking help from an adult, which I have done countless of times myself.

Based on my personal experience, I have felt overwhelmed from academic classes as I found it difficult to manage schoolwork with sports, clubs, etc. Because of the increased amount of students who explain they feel stressed about school, it eventually leads to students having anxiety and potentially even depression as they might fall behind in their classes or become less interested in their extracurricular activities.

It is important for students to know that their guidance counselors and teachers are there to help them adjust to the challenges they may be facing. In order to lessen the anxiety that students may potentially be feeling and experiencing, it is important for schools to make improvements, whether it consists of making changes academically or even providing more resources for those who feel affected by stress specifically coming from school.

Despite students wanting to maintain a high GPA, there are different opinions revolving around what is considered as being accepted in terms of class ranking. What causes students to stress is the constant pressure around GPAs, class ranking, and academic performances. GPAs also revolve around stereotypes as grades are important to students throughout highschool. They cause students to sleep less while further weighing in on the levels of stress that they are already experiencing. Maybe schools should consider eliminating GPAs and class rank?

Many students at MHS have experienced the same feeling or have been in the same situation which ultimately revolves around the need for changes with GPA and class ranking. Students have the potential to take harder courses but refuse to in an effort to protect their grades.

As students fear their GPA will decrease as a result of not performing their best academically, this causes many students to avoid taking challenging courses as they would prefer taking easier courses to ensure a higher grade as they would most likely perform better. Many students experience this feeling as they believe they would not be able to handle the workload.

My sophomore year, my teacher recommended me for an AP English course for my junior year. I had already reached out to my academic teachers about managing their assignments with extracurricular activities and how at times it made me feel stressed. Discovering that I had been recommended for a course that would be even more difficult made me feel hesitant because I did not want it to affect my GPA negatively. My teacher expressed how taking an AP course would be beneficial but I was still reluctant.

As it is now my senior year and I reflect on how I performed academically, I am thankful for my teacher encouraging me to challenge myself despite the fear of my GPA decreasing as taking the AP courses have significantly improved my writing skills and made me a better writer than I was in the past.

Schools should change the structure of how students transition into highschool in an attempt to lessen the levels of anxiety, stress, and even depression at times. The importance of building relationships with teachers and allowing students to express how they feel about everything would help ease how students feel overwhelmed.

Teachers should express to students that taking harder courses will be beneficial as they will be able to challenge themselves and get out of their comfort zones. Although students may feel stressed or begin to feel depressed as they find it difficult to manage and balance everything out, it is important to know that there are teachers and resources out there available for students for anything that they are going through and experiencing.

Many students are unaware that MHS has adjustment counselors that are there to help students who are emotionally unstable or need someone to talk to. Students may also be recommended to other therapists if needed. Aside from the therapists being offered as an option at MHS, teachers are also here to help students with their school work or even personal problems.

Although most students stress over their GPA, class ranking, and academic performances, it is important to know that there are resources available to help students. My advice to any student is to reach out with their teachers and build a relationship where they feel comfortable expressing how they are doing in their classes in terms of being able to manage the workload or just communicate with teachers to see what can be done to lessen the stress students feel during the school year.

There should also be a time for students to discuss their emotional health with teachers, which MHS introduced as circles, though it should be brought back. This way, students will be able to talk about how they feel. Having the circles really gave me the opportunity to be more engaged with how I felt in certain classes as I was able to express my emotions whether it focused more on my emotions or my mental state of mind.

 I would add one more sentence making this personal again, and that you really enjoyed this when it was here.

As a senior who has experience, high school can be difficult at times but it is important to manage your time in attempts of getting ahead in classes. Reach out to teachers if you feel stressed and remember you are not alone.

Jemisha Syliant

Jemisha Syliant is a Senior at Malden High School, and an essential member of the Blue and Gold Staff with her new position this year as Editor-in-Chief of Web and Mobile Apps. Syliant has been apart of the class for all four years of high school and the reason she joined was because she loves writing and “wanted to get more involved with the world.” She is very dedicated to the class, as well as in school. Syliant has a passion for human health and it is because of this that she has been apart of the psychology club since last year and takes an interest in a career in the medical field. Her nationality consists of a Haitian background and describes herself as a balance of someone who’s outgoing and shy. In her free time, she enjoys listening to a wide variety of music and watching netflix. Syliant is excited for the year and also looks forward to how the class will go.

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