Stress: What Causes It and What You Can Do to Manage It


Payton Weiner, Staff Writer

The beginning of the school year is filled with excitement as students take new classes, reconnect with friends, and begin fall sports and activities. Untouched colorful notebooks and new sharpened pencils add to the anticipation of beginning school. However, soon after the school year starts there are negatives students experience, and a lot of them stem from being stressed. 

According to a 2015 study conducted by NYU, 49 percent of high school students experience “a great deal” of stress daily, with another 31 percent feeling “somewhat stressed.” These high percentages could be even greater in Haddonfield, where many students participate in extracurriculars and take challenging courses. Many Haddonfield students stated that their biggest influence on their levels of stress was homework and balancing their academics with athletics. With students enrolled in several accelerated and AP classes, the workload often may seem overwhelming, and since students are occupied with their other interests, they are frequently pressed for time to study and complete assignments. In addition, older students remarked that applying to colleges also contributes to their stress. They discussed the anxiety given from completing college applications and taking the SAT. Several students also added that since Haddonfield is a town where students are expected to attend prestigious colleges, there is pressure from that arena as well. These factors all contribute to an unhealthy mental and physical health, and at times, these factors may not seem manageable.

However, despite the amount of stress students may feel, they must remember that they are not alone. Below is a list of suggestions that HMHS students added to which helps them deal with stress:

  1. Exercise – working out by yourself or with a team helps free your mind from other worries.
  2. Take breaks in between assignments – this gives your mind a chance to relax, and this keeps you from overworking yourself.
  3. Clean your work area/folders – this helps the assignments not appear overwhelming.
  4. Allow yourself time to relax on weekends – your body needs a chance to experience relief, and this can occur through watching a movie or performing other enjoyable activities; your body should not be constantly working.
  5. Stay organized (keep track of assignments in a planner) – this can help you plan ahead, so assignments are not left until the last minute.
  6. Treat yourself – having a special treat is an effective way to reward yourself after an impressive performance or after completing an assignment. This keeps your morale high and continues to motivate you.