How to cope with stress

Students share experiences, ways to help


Rae Godwin

“Studies show nearly half of all teens have said they were stressed by school pressures, resulting in depression and anxiety.”

Stress is a natural feeling everyone gets when their lives seem to get a little bit disordered; working on a project due soon that’s hard to understand, selecting a college or future profession, etc. Even more simple things like, “Why is school this hard?” 

Students have to deal with teachers assigning them mountains of homework and expecting them to finish it the next day or at the end of the week. Studies show nearly half of all teens have said they were stressed by school pressures, resulting in depression and anxiety. They are seen but never heard. The symptoms are mostly found in juniors and seniors, and with the constant loads of schoolwork, grades and college admissions, students often fall under a lot of stress, and how they feel about it is seen as lazy and weak to those who are older. 

“I have a few things that frustrate me,” senior Brianna Tamayo said. “Teachers assigning work after work, days in a row, that usually wouldn’t be a problem if you understand the topic, but sometimes I feel as if they aren’t engaging with the students enough.” 

Not only do teachers assign multiple pages of homework, they can misunderstand students at times, especially when students try to communicate but don’t know how.

“Something that frustrates me is not being listened to or being talked over,” junior Linda Velazquez said. “There have been times when I’m talking and I get cut off or no one listens when it’s something important, sometimes it’s something I’m very passionate about.” 

Students often complain about how teachers assign too much work, or they aren’t engaging enough and that puts a toll on how students do their work. This causes stress to build up throughout the semester. 

“School has affected my mental health, weirdly enough,” Tamayo said. “I used to not like coming to school due to it causing a lot of stress with a ton of homework or projects that are due the next day.” 

Grades have a big impact on teens, as low test scores or grades on assignments or tests can bring students down, and when they feel like they failed, they get that pent up stress. 

“My academic stress and anxiety of grades and GPA leads to less well-being,” senior Helika Manuelle said. “My depression has also increased a lot.” 

Sometimes, teens need someone to talk to about this matter. 

“I feel like I can mostly talk to my friends and my family, they know me on a closer level,” Tamayo said. “I can trust them to help me through any stressful situations I am facing.” 

Stress is a serious concern in teens, but talking, spending time together and encouraging healthy approaches can help teenagers cope with stress. 

“School made me really stressed,”  Velazquez said. “Overall, it makes me drained and tired and that affects me heavily in class. I know I can talk to my brother and certain close friends, but not all of them understand what I’m going through.”

However, while some people have someone they can turn to, others don’t have anyone at all.

 “To be honest, I have no one to talk to because there is so much I want to say, but I don’t know how to express it,” Manuelle said. “There are some things I feel like no one should worry about.” 

Numerous ways can help teens de-stress, such as taking breaks from social media. Social media can be a big factor with stress in teens, seeing how they think they’re supposed to look rather than be who they are. Mental and physical health are the biggest factors that take the worst damage, so finding a way to help ease those stressful thoughts is a major stress relief.  

“I feel most relaxed at home, mostly in my room,” Tamayo said. “It’s a safe place I’ve built up over the years. The photos of my family and friends and the books I like really help me calm down and not worry too much about what’s going on at that moment.” 

Having some ‘me time’ is never a bad thing; sometimes people need to find a place to rewind and unfold from all the pent up stress. Others need to take some time from socializing, and focus on what’s best for them. No matter how teens cope with stress, always know that it’s OK to feel that way sometimes, and stress is a big situation that happens from time to time.

“I feel most relaxed when I listen to music because it’s almost like my escape,” Manuelle said. “There is no one to bother me or talk about the things I don’t want. So I suggest listening to music, it can calm you down without you knowing.”