The student newspaper of Washington-Lee High School

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Crippling stress of the high school student

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“High school is supposed to help students prepare for college, not hurt them!” Goes the saying in modern society. However, it seems as though the pressure and expectations that are constantly put on students hurt more them than help. From my experience, school can become so overwhelming to the point where you physically cannot find the energy to work.

The pressure to get into college– and a renowned one at that– leads students to participate in many extracurriculars and take AP/IB classes to have a well-rounded application. Many times, a schedule this demanding would typically be seen in a college student. This can have huge negative effects on a student– late night study sessions usually lead to 2-5 hours of sleep for many. Students, then, don’t have enough time to eat a good breakfast or a breakfast at all. This leads to a vicious cycle of unhealthy habits that can effect students greatly in their personal and academic life. Teachers are aware of this pressure– I tend to hear it in class every time quarter exams begin; “I know you guys may be overwhelmed with exams and such.” But do they really understand?

In all honestly, it depends on the high school experience the teacher had themselves and whether they considered it to be difficult for them. If they really understood, why would they assign so much homework at once or at the same time as other classes? Some might argue that teachers do not know each other’s schedules, some argue that giving this much homework prepares the student for college and gives them time management skills. I beg to differ. Due to the fact that students are increasingly getting involved in clubs or sports, it is sometimes impossible to “manage” their time “correctly,” which forces them into staying up late to finish all their homework.

This features an environment of stress and genuine exhaustion that I believe should be taken more seriously by teachers and parents alike. I cannot count the number of times a day I hear the words, “I’m so tired,” come from the mouths of my classmates. All of this to get the grades and be involved the activities to get into college, but it is just pushed aside as “part of high school.”

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The student newspaper of Washington-Lee High School
Crippling stress of the high school student