Students are cooking under pressure


Students are always surrounded by stressful things: schoolwork, deadlines, teachers, money, etc.

Thinking of school, what comes to mind? Is it friends, annoying teachers, homework? Don’t we all feel stressed and pressed to do things at school as well?

Pressure at school can come from so many things and sometimes it’s tough to know if you’re even under pressure. Everyone feels some type but it seems to be most common in teenagers because this is a big time of transition.

Everything we do, we get asked questions like: Do you want to go to a good college? Do you want to go to the mall next Saturday? Do you want that money from getting A’s and B’s? Well you must complete a whole list of tasks and make sure the things you do are done right because if you don’t, then you won’t be able to do anything.

You went to Emily’s house on Friday? You had a dance competition on Saturday? Well you forgot to do your homework and now you must stay up extra late on Sunday because it’s due in first hour on Monday. I guess that’s the price to pay for having fun…

Pressure is defined by Google as “the use of persuasion, influence, or intimidation to make someone do something.’’ Somehow sounds exactly like school. Parents and teachers may use the act of persuasion with money and good grades, putting you in a pressure filled hole. Your idol, suggests that you follow your dreams so you are influenced to take action in something you want to be doing. Parents and teachers may also find ways to intimidate you and if your work isn’t perfect, you can’t do or have something they were holding over your head.

It really is tough being a teenager as it is, you’re in the middle of being an adult but somehow you are still treated very much like a kid. Then we had to deal with the fact that South decided to change our schedules that aren’t really flexible.

The amount of work throughout the day and the the added on period just made so much more work. “7th hour is just too much for me.” Junior Rahma Sahal exclaims. The added period ended up putting more on her plate. Then, she doesn’t have a study hall to help her get some of that homework done, and she can’t switch into a study hall because she wants to meet her elective credits she needs while staying in one of her favorite classes, AVID.

“AVID helps me so much!” Sahal says, smiling. According to a few juniors, AVID class is so helpful for them because it helps them study for their big tests, focus on specific needs, and the tutors and teachers they have in the class make it easy to do what needs to be done.

AVID is a class that I too, am taking. Honestly AVID helps me because I have so many questions and I am able to ask, and someone is available to help me answer them. It might get annoying to make sure I have all these annotations and resources but when it comes down to it, it really helps me in my classes.

Another great thing about AVID is the tutors that work there are able to connect with me. I may feel under pressure but the tutors are there and make me laugh and watch The Walking Dead too, so I am able to talk to them about the show. What better way to get work done than to do it while talking about a great show?

According to junior JoAnna Lynes, pressure from school leads her to feeling hopeless and makes her want to give up. “Not fitting in and worrying about the teachers going at a faster pace than I can and, then the teachers aren’t understanding puts me under so much pressure,” Lynes explains sadly, “I start to get scared and my anxiety gets worse.”

“Teachers just aren’t understanding these days.” Lynes says, frustrated. Many teachers claim they understand that we have other things that we have to deal with, yet they decide to throw 20 pages of reading assignments, an essay, and so many worksheets on us. Teachers are really supposed to be there to teach and to help but it seems that many don’t really understand how hard it is being a teenager.

Pressure often leads to other things such as nervous breakdowns, panic attacks, and depression, and the thing is, you can’t really prevent yourself from getting depressed. Going down the road of depression and anxiety isn’t good for anyone and it hurts you.

“Sometimes when I’m having problems at school it makes me feel kind of bad about myself. I start to do things that I wouldn’t usually have the nerve to do,” Sophomore Isabela Mastel says, “I like some of the teachers and all, but high school brings on a lot of pressure.”

“Pressure at school happens no matter what,” Sophomore Inga Schierkolk said, “I have to make sure I follow every rule just to get a good grade.” I agree, in my Honors Chemistry class in order to get a good grade on notebook checks, I must do a lab and write a report on what happened, write a claim, show evidence, and if you want the A, you must do some extra research at home. I feel like all this extra work just to get the A discourages me to want the good grade. It seems a bit harsh even for an honors class.

I understand that we are in high school and that we should get used to all the work and official deadlines but maybe the teachers can cut us some slack once in awhile because sometimes, I really can’t do my work. Then, I have teachers that do not accept late work unless you have a special reason and I get so stressed, it becomes more worrying than it should be.

To get rid of the problems with school work and teachers, what can be done?

“In an ideal school, there would be a soundproof room and a punching bag so you can go in and scream and do whatever helps you.” Lynes suggests. Sometimes it really does help to scream or get your anger out somehow but if you did that at here at South you might be written up, or sent to the “Tiger Pride Room”.

Junior Su’ad Aden claims that using a planner is very helpful. Aden is able to remember what to do and if asked to do something outside of school, she knows that she can still get her work done without forgetting. Planners are so useful, you can put so much in them and you can never forget because everything you want to do is there. Also, if you don’t like the planner donated to you from the school, decorate yours or buy a cheap one from Target.

Recently, I’ve noticed counselors speaking up and suggesting that students come talk to them, in fact I was given a flier stating, “Counselors just help with class schedules?, Think again!” Many people I know go see their counselor,  Sophomore Ka’Rin Washington got a small book from her counselor to keep her thoughts in, which she suggests to others if writing helps them too.

Counseling flier given out to students stating "Counselors just help with class schedules? Think again."
Lisa Williams
Counseling flier given out to students stating “Counselors just help with class schedules? Think again.”

Music! Music helps me so much. I’m able to listen to my favorite bands and artists like The Neighbourhood and 5 Seconds of Summer, then I can just sing and do my homework, making it kind of fun. Besides, there are so many songs that are relatable to the experiences that we are going and you can connect more with the music, for example the song Stressed Out by 21 Pilots directly relates to being under pressure and stress. Sometimes it just helps to know that others are going through the same thing as you.

It’s tough realizing that you have more work and that you have to do things you may not want to do, but whether you like it or not, we’re all getting older and that’s just what happens. Lucky for us, there are so many things that we can do to feel better such as talking to your counselor or taking a helpful class. Just remember that you are a strong person and I’m sure you can get through whatever it is that you’re going through!