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The Stress in High School by Jake Fanning



ow often do students stress over the grades and how that will affect the overall grade in the class? It happens to everyone. In middle and elementary school, it was still stressful to get a bad grade on a test. Overall though, it wouldn’t have an effect on where you went in life. High school, that’s a whole other ball game. The grades you get do have an effect on where you get to go for college and what you do in life. This creates one of the most stressful environments to be in known to human beings as… high school. In today’s world almost every single high school student would be described as a mental health case back in the ‘50s. In fact in the 1980’s a study was held and it was found that high school students have more people with anxiety than all the mental health patients in the ‘50s combined. Thirty years later, the stats have increased exponentially. The fact is that the stress and anxiety just doesn’t just appear when you step into the building, or disappear when you leave the building it continues throughout the day even after school. Many students participate in sports and other after school activities. During that time not only are they thinking about what they are doing; but, also about homework and studying. It doesn’t get any better when you get home, either. Many students at RV say that their parents don’t help. In fact, they say that their parents contribute to the amount of stress. I sat down with a student to see if her parents just added to the stress on her grading. I asked her, “Do they (your parents) add to the stress by saying things like, ‘You can do it. You just need to try harder.’” Her answer was, “Yes. It depends on the subject. If there is a C in that class, parents jump on them. Even if you are trying very hard, you feel like you are letting them down because they really want you to succeed. But you feel like you are succeeding because you are trying hard. Your success is different than their opinion I guess. D’s and F’s are even worse!” (Morgan Fleetwood, Freshman) The reason behind the whole problem could be because teachers simply put too much stress on grading and not enough on what students are actually learning. I am not saying that we shouldn’t just throw out the entire grading system. It’s great that we have a way to see how someone is doing in a class, but the fact that teachers put so much stress on the actual grading isn’t good at all. Finals week and the week leading up to the entire test is the worst, just walking through the school, anyone can see how panicked people are. It’s not just finals though; the stress is on 24/7. In fact just walking through the halls I could hear things such as, “My friend started crying in class because she couldn’t redo her accuracy check.” That grade matters, it could change your grade from an A to a B or a B to a C. It’s amazing how much one little piece of paper can change your grade for worse. One of the teachers realizes that system isn’t as great as it could be either, the German teacher, Ms. Douglas said, “Tests shouldn’t be about the grade. They are should be teaching you what you know and what you don’t know.” Tests already do this but they could be put into a better form. For example, in most classes, your tests count for about 50% of your total grade. This can change your overall grade in an instant! All over the country other high school students are experiencing stress as well. NPR wanted to see just how much stress students were facing, some of the responses include, “At the time of writing this, my weekend assignments include two papers, a PowerPoint to go with a 10-minute presentation, studying for a test and two quizzes, and an entire chapter.” A possible solution for the problem we’re facing

is to have more time set aside in class to get things done. I know in math class, I wish I would have twenty minutes set aside in class so that I could get at least part of the amounting homework done. Adding on to this, teachers could help themselves with grading time and student’s homework time by making it classwork and trusting students to know what they are doing. It would be the student’s responsibility to ask for help if they needed it. Other students say that the teachers should all communicate with each other all the time so that they can know how much homework that each class is giving out during that week. There are downfalls to both of these solutions; but, it would at least give a substantial reduction to how long students would spend on homework. R

Your tests count for about 50% your total grade. This can change your overall grade in an instant!


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