The Leopard

High School Pressure

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High School Pressure

By Jeff Hitchcock from Seattle, WA, USA - East High School, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56429292

By Jeff Hitchcock from Seattle, WA, USA - East High School, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56429292

By Jeff Hitchcock from Seattle, WA, USA - East High School, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56429292

Kesha Palmer, Opinion Writer

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In life, it is expected for every person to experience stress, however, how much stress is too much stress? School can be a major source of stress for many students and teachers all around the world. It is safe to say that nearly 45% of students at almost every high school are stressed and feel as if their school is pressuring. What exactly causes this stress and how do we appropriately handle these situations? Teachers want you to have grades to ensure that you have a good future and a high paying job, but how many jobs look at your grades? If you have ever had a job interview, ask yourself, have they ever asked you to show your report card? College does look for academic performance, however, they also look for how well you perform in certain social situations. Achieving these perfect and ideal academic performances may be difficult for students. Teachers insist that you must only aim for the highest and best grade possible and to back them up are our parents.

Our parents only want to see us succeed, but sometimes our expectations are pushed a little too far. According to Mary Alvord, a psychologist at American Psychological Association, “A little stress is a good thing, it can motivate students to be organized, and however, too much stress can backfire.” Enough stress can cause sleep problems, chest pains, lack of motivation or focus, headaches, and can cause teenagers to overeat or not eat enough. Keeping up with lectures and assignments isn’t easy due to sleep deprivation and the inability to focus. To be considered a healthy teenager we must go outside for at least an hour every day, eat three meals a day, sleep for at least eight hours a day, and have social interactions. The district highly recommends that students achieve these tasks in our daily lives out of school. According to an NPR poll high school gives every student on an average of four hours of homework. Some parents can see how this is affecting their children in their ordinary life. According to an NPR poll, 20% of parents said schools put too much emphasis on standardized testing causing another factor of stress. 32% parents said that the schools don’t apply any changes.

Many parents are concerned for their children’s mental and even physical health. Too much stress can cause a sense of panic and even paralysis. When schools are confronted with these issues causing stress in teenagers, they are most likely going to try avoiding the problem. Bullying is an issue in schools, however this isn’t the main cause of stress in high school. Students have said that the main cause of stress is from academia more than social interactions. Academics have very high expectations, and if they aren’t met, students are distraught, and feel is if they don’t deserve positive aspects in life. Many students have deprived themselves of food, sleep, and even social interactions when their expectations aren’t met.

We students don’t have the time or even the mindset for self-care. By self-care, I mean taking a moment to yourself and not focusing on anything but yourself. As a teenager going through a different set of emotions it’s important to take the time to evaluate yourself and know what your personal boundaries are. Parents like to say that “it only gets worse and that we should enjoy our young life,” we know that it gets harder, and everyone can’t keep using that excuse. Just because sometimes your job can be hard doesn’t mean our problems don’t exist.  

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Kesha Palmer, Opinion Writer



On April 16th, 2003 in Washington, Seattle, Kesha Palmer was born. Now she is 15 attending East High for her sophomore year. She isn’t into many...

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High School Pressure