How School Affects Students’ Mental Health
Stress can be a good thing, like feeling nervous before a performance. In the case of the performance, it does not last for an extended amount of time or happens very frequently. However, high school students seem to be struggling with a different kind of stress that occurs frequently and lasts longer. An extended amount of stress like this can have an affect on a student’s mental health in the present or future.
Four out of five students surveyed often feel overwhelmed with school and with the homework that comes with classes.
“I do feel overwhelmed with school work very often. It usually happens very often, almost all the time,” Grace Herr ‘21 said.
Homework can vary depending on what classes the student takes, a student that takes full IB courses would have a larger workload than a student that does not take IB classes.
“My homework usually takes me 2 to 5 hours to get done. It usually takes up most of my afternoons and sometimes nights,” Herr said.
The IB programme is a program that aims to develop students to have a depth of knowledge. It helps students grow intellectually, emotionally, and ethically.
“IB hardly has any busy work,” Angelique Pratar ‘19 said.
IB is meant to challenge students to the max so they can be used to the idea of always planning and juggling with life and school, to find a balance.
“I feel some of the work that is assigned is necessary but most of it feels like busy work.” Kylie Kenyon ‘21 said.
An American Academy of Pediatrics report of 2007 suggests that students with too much work at a young age and not enough ‘play’ can affect the student later in life.
“It’s a good motivator but at times it can be overwhelming and hard to deal with,” Makalya Meyers Lewallen ‘21 said.
The report also states that colleges have noticed a generation of students that have been showing increased signs of anxiety, depression, stress, and perfectionism.
“The IB programme has high expectations and a very high workload that is hard to balance with extracurriculars,” Prater said.
The fear of not meeting teacher’s expectations for due dates can take a serious toll on a student’s mental health. Whether it be finishing history homework or studying for an upcoming test in English that a student has to at least get an 87% to keep their A.
“The homework the teachers assign are necessary, but the amount they assign and the due date for the assignments are excessive,” Herr said.
Students juggling with school work, extracurricular activities, being social, jobs, family time, and finding time for themselves to relax.
“I would like for my teachers to know that we have other classes, extracurricular activities and priorities that we need to take care of and do. And that sometimes we can’t do the things they give us because of the busy lives we have,” Herr said.
Teachers understand that, but they believe that their students have the capability to handle it all.
“I think a lot of students could be overwhelmed, not always it just depends on how they handle everything,” Joyanna Forsythe said.
Students have to learn to recognize what stresses them out and how they can change the way they work to stress less. Students that seem to be most stressed usually procrastinate, one obvious way to help that problem out is to divide the work for that one assignment evenly instead of working on the whole assignment the night before. Some meditate, bathe, listen to music, or go outside to run.
“I calm down by listening to music, playing games, basically doing something fun to distract myself and/or take a break.” Sonny Box ‘21 said.