How is Stress Affecting Students at La Serna?

Kathryn Salazar, Contributor

“Today’s students may be more stressed than ever before. In fact, the 2015 American College Health Association National College Health Assessment found that 85.5 percent of students had felt overwhelmed in the past year,” researcher Douglas Carlson said. According to recent findings, stress is becoming increasingly apparent with today’s generation of students; La Serna High School students are no exception. With piles of homework, tests, grades, and extracurricular activities, students find it difficult to avoid stress.

Stress due to school has affected students in severe ways. Some of the most common issues found with students in the classroom has been depression, anxiety, and even substance abuse. “I’ve seen people crying in the restroom having full on breakdowns. Missing classes is common too. I know a lot of people who have done that because they are too stressed to go,” said Jenah Ridgill, a senior.

Extracurricular activity is another major source of stress for students. Whether it be for sports or clubs, students are finding that they are biting off more than they can chew. The main reason students get involved in many extracurricular clubs is to stand out by having an impressive college application. Janine Salgado, a senior, who runs and takes part in seven clubs and one sport  at La Serna, is a notable yet not uncommon example of this. She said,”Being a leader and being involved in so many school activities have definitely lead me to feel more stressed. I am constantly coming up with fundraisers, experiments, and lessons for my clubs while keeping up with sports and school work. My school work has definitely became more of a challenge for me with all this extra work, that I feel I can’t do this anymore. I find myself in difficult and stressful situations all the time.”  Some may argue that students, like Salgado, choose the path to stress, and that while there are benefits to choosing to take on a great number of responsibilities, it definitely comes at a price.

However, there are many things an individual can do to limit their stress. Getting more sleep is one way of reducing stress that many experts advise. However, lack of sleep  is affecting students everywhere because while the recommended amount of sleep per night is 8-10 hours per night, only about 15% of teens are obtaining this amount, researcher Douglas Carlson said.  Many students find that the most effective way to deal with stress is finding a stress relieving activity. Whether it be though a physical activity or a hobby, finding a way to manage stress is essential to obtaining good mental health.

Stress can be seen in many ways in high school students. While there may be many factors as to why this is true, it is important to find ways to relieve this stress which individuals on their own must find a way that helps them best. Altogether, stress can cause a great deal of difficulties if not properly dealt with, so if a student feels an unhealthy amount of excessive stress, seeking professional help from a licensed therapist would be the best option. At La Serna High School, students have access to the Wellness Center in the Guidance Office. A referral is  needed from a teacher or counselor.