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The Columbus School News Portal

The Discoverer

The Columbus School News Portal

The Discoverer

Addressing Teen Stress: Coping Mechanisms and Support Systems Among High School Students

Addressing Teen Stress: Coping Mechanisms and Support Systems Among High School Students

As the 2023-2024 school year comes to an end, students reflect on their stress levels throughout what has been a tough school year. After filling out a survey, we can examine the strategies students use to manage their stress, which classes seem to be the most stressful, and how comfortable they feel talking to our school counselors. Firstly, when asked about their primary source of stress, here were some responses from our students.

A 9th-grade student who wished to remain anonymous said that his biggest source of stress comes from “when there are so many assignments from different classes.” Similarly, another 10th-grade student, whose name will also be kept anonymous, said, “Homework and too many tests.”

As seen, the main source of stress for many high school students is the amount of workload they have regularly, from the beginning of the year until the very last day.

In contrast, 11th-grade student Teo Dominguez said, “My biggest source of stress normally rises when I’m absent from school and can’t do the work, and some teachers aren’t flexible with their due dates.”

When students are absent from school, there are strict school policies that explain to teachers and students what happens with their work or exams when they have been absent, but students still find it hard for teachers to compromise with these expectations. Furthermore, around 90% of students find that math classes are the most stressful.

An 11th-grade student who wished to remain anonymous said that “the hardest class is pre-calculus because it goes very fast.” On the other hand, Pablo Tobar, an 11th-grade student, said, “The ones that I enjoy the least, because I have no interest in studying but still have the pressure of these subjects affecting my grades in general.”

It appears the main source of students’ stress comes from subjects that are very fast-paced or those subjects that, even if you didn’t choose them, still weigh heavily on your GPA. Students were also asked how comfortable they felt going to the school counselor for help, and the responses will surprise you.

A 9th-grade anonymous student said that on a scale of 1-5, “5 because I have been in a long process with counselors and they know me well. That’s why I trust them to a high level.” In comparison, Teo Dominguez, an 11th-grader, said, “1 because these types of areas I prefer to deal with on my own or with my family.”

Even though there has been an array of answers, ranging from 1-5, most students feel very confident in going to the school counselor when they are having a problem related to stress. As our school and our world have progressed significantly in the mental health area, we also asked the students if they have tried any relaxation techniques to help cope with stress.

11th-grader Pablo Tobar said, “Sports and gym function as a tool to take out my stress and turn it into something productive so that later I can have a good organization of my ideas.”

In general, we were surprised to see that most students do not have any techniques at home or on their own to help them deal with stress.

In summary, high school students face significant stress from academic endeavors. While some are comfortable seeking help, others prefer handling it with their family or on their own. It was surprising to see that many lack effective coping mechanisms, which is something the school should consider incorporating, at least for the first weeks of school.