Stress extracurriculars while also excelling academically. In many

Stress is a disease that affects us all. From the average working class person to a Highschool student, we all have stress. Stress develops from many different sources and can affect high school students differently.             One of the most stressful times in a teens life is in high school. Students juggle a variety of activities social and academic at one time, so it is only natural that they experience stress. Some common causes of stress in a high school student’s life are things like academics, extracurricular activities, and parents. According to a study ran by New York University (NYU), “many subgroups of youth experience high levels of chronic stress, to the extent it impedes their abilities to succeed academically, compromises their mental health functioning, and fosters risk behavior.(NYU)” One of the main reasons that high school students become stressed is the increase in academic demands. A student in middle school might spend an average of one to two hours on homework a night, whereas a Highschool student may spend 6 hours or more on homework a night. This is what causes stress. Long Hours spent on homework result in very long nights. Students get little to no sleep, and then the following day, receive additional work. The weekend could be the only time that a student gets to relax. That is if they don’t participate in extracurricular activities or hold a part-time job.         There is a wide variety of extracurricular activities, whether it be sports, student government or student ran clubs. Colleges look for well-rounded individuals who can juggle different extracurriculars while also excelling academically. In many sports, practices get longer and athletes become more tired because they are still required to maintain their excellent grades. Other clubs, may seem more relaxed, however, in clubs such as debate or quiz bowl, it requires additional preparation outside of school. Although it may seem as if extracurriculars don’t cause as much stress, they do. They require additional time that students barely have leading to a rise in stress to try and fit it all in.One would think that a teens parent would be a source of relief for their stress, however, parents can also be the source of more stress, whether they realize it or not. Things such as divorce, a negative change in economic status, or even an argument can put more stress on a teen than one might realize. Pressure from a parent to only get A’s and maintain an extremely high GPA and also keep up with their chores at home only causes stress. Parents tend to hold their children to the highest standards because they believe they know how capable their child is, however they tend to be oblivious to the fact that their only harming their child mentally and physically. These reasons may seem small to an average adult, however, according to students interviewed by professionals at NYU they feel “they were asked to work as hard as adults, or even harder, with little time left for relaxation or creativity.” Because of this, students begin to engage in risky behaviors in order to alleviate some of this stress. Risky behaviors can be anything from speeding to taking illegal substances. According to the NYU study, “38 percent of students reported getting drunk and 34 percent of students reported getting high on an illegal substance, rates one to two times greater than reported in national normative samples.(NYU)”  Stress doesn’t only lead teens to engage in risky behaviors, it can also cause mental and physical health issues. According to the American Psychological Association(APA), some “common symptoms include feeling nervous or anxious, feeling tired, procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities, feeling overwhelmed, having negative thoughts and experiencing changes in sleeping habits. Problems with concentrating and changes in eating habits (eating too much or too little) are also linked to stress.(Palmiter)”  In a survey ran by the American Psychological Association, “30 percent of teens reported feeling sad or depressed because of stress and 31 percent felt overwhelmed.(Fox)” APA also reported that “36 percent said that stress makes them tired and 23 percent said they’ve skipped meals because of it.(Fox)”  This is only the beginning in an article written by USA Today they reported that  “teens are at risk of a variety of physical and emotional ills and potentially shorter lifespans than their elders if they don’t act to “reverse their current trajectory of chronic illness, poor health and shorter lifespans.”.(Jayson)” It is unimaginable that the stress teens are feeling can cause all of these side effects. Whether it be the way Students manage stress or the amount of work school is allowed to give, something needs to change.In Conclusion, the constant stress to maintain high grades, multiple extracurriculars, and a social life has caused high school to become a pressure cooker.  Students begin to engage in risky behaviors in order to alleviate that stress. Stress can also cause issues dealing with health. All around stress from high school is a problem that can be avoided if we stop putting so much pressure on teens. 


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