With school starting back up, I think we are all feeling a little busier; some of us are in sports, band, and other extracurriculars that tend to take up a lot of time. Add work on top of that, with homework, tests, and all the life decisions being made and you end up with one great big problem: stress. Although, what exactly is stress? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines stress as, “something that causes strong feelings of worry or anxiety.” If I think back on my week, I notice many things that have caused me to feel worried or anxious. I have felt so much pressure in just the first couple weeks of school. Pressure from teachers, my parents, peers, and even myself.
A study by the American Psychological Association showed that teens are actually more stressed than adults, and I believe it. It often feels like adults are the ones putting pressure on us. It’s like teachers get together in the lounge and plot out what days to give us big assignments and tests. Then you get home and your parents are putting pressure on you to raise your GPA, but at the same time they want you to do every extracurricular possible. It feels like being stretched apart and not knowing when you will pop.
Not to mention older siblings! I have three older brothers, and it gets hard sometimes feeling like you need to live up to their expectations. Time and time again, I feel like I am letting my parents down when I can’t do things as well as they do. My brothers are sporty, musical, and artsy; three things that I am not. Yes, I know, I have my own talents too; and my parents know that. Even then, I get totally stressed out when I know my parents would like it if I could do the same things as them. Even if you don’t have siblings, it can get that way with peers. I often feel inferior when I sit next to the kids who effortlessly get a 4.0 GPA. Meanwhile I struggle to stay awake during the day if I don’t have a cup of coffee.
Even some teachers don’t seem to care what you are getting out of their class, as long as you pass. I haven’t heard anything like, “Remember this, you’ll need it on the ACT.” In fact, I haven’t really heard anything about college either, and I know that is will come as I get closer to graduating. I don’t doubt that IhaveaplanIowa™ helps with some things; but I think that a teacher (a human being not a computer) can give the best advice on careers. We are in high school to get ready for one of the biggest steps of our life, and I feel like I am walking blindfolded.
If you are feeling stressed out and feel that you don’t know what to do with your life, or if you just need some help, reach out to a friend or someone close. So often we forget the people that care about us, and we suffer in this stress. So rest assured, fellow high school students, we are all just as stressed out as you are. We are all worrying about college, grades, friendships, and all our extracurriculars and feeling that pressure from our friends and family. Just know, that you are not alone.
•Gabi Criscuolo, email@example.com