What are the biggest stressors for students?

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Stress is something that cannot be left alone, and people need to know that they are not alone in their stress. (Photo courtesy of Public Domain.)

Stress can come in many different forms and for many different reasons, and can be a danger to students especially who are still learning how to deal with life in general.

Causes of stress

There are many reasons why stress takes over.

Sometimes people just have a lot on their plate. “The biggest stressor for me is the three AP classes that I am taking this semester. This is a big stressor because I have to balance my heavy workload on top of my job,” said Nate Reardon, junior.

Balancing class with work and finding time for the in betweens is a harbor for stress to build and build.

Some things affect many students. “I think the biggest stressor for most people is Societal expectations,” said Reardon.

Societal expectations are explained as the expectations that society has for everyone else in society. A simple example of this can be making friends.

The process of making friends can be very difficult, and stressful. Especially for people who are socially anxious. Social anxiety can hold people back from many things — making friends, getting a job, and even working on group schoolwork.

Ms. Albanese, counselor at Leesville — over email — said, “Although stress looks different for everyone, some of the biggest causes of stress for high school students include Worrying about what others think, toxic/unhealthy relationships, reacting/responding to social media, bullying, self-identity, and effective communication skills with friends and peers.”

Time management can also be a cause for stress. “Making time for studying/homework, balancing school, work, family, self-care, and social life, and inconsistent sleep schedules (too much or too little),” said Albanese.

“Events, circumstances, or situations that can cause stress are a natural part of life. The definition of Stress is defined as a state of worry or mental tension caused by a difficult situation. It is a natural human response that pushes us to address challenges and threats in our lives,” said Albanese.

How to deal with stress

However, there are ways to handle stress. 

Reardon said, “I can relieve my stress through spending time with my family and friends or meditating.”

Meditating is a very good way to relieve stress, as it can allow people to really clear their minds for deep thought.

Some people do guided meditation through the use of an app, while others have trained themselves to just sit down and clear their minds without that guidance.

Spending time with good friends is also a great reliever of stress. Just going on a walk and talking with friends can help relieve stress.

“We can choose to learn, cope, and get motivated from stress, or we can choose to avoid it which typically leads to unhealthy habits and possibly harmful situations,” said Albanese.

As a counselor, Ms. Albanese has seen the different ways that stress can affect students, and how it can be treated.

“There are a lot of things students can do to help manage stress. They can include: Daily or weekly journaling, sleep regulation, set short term and long term goals, exercise regularly, talk to Someone (trusted friend, adult, or professional), limiting caffeine, sugar, and other addictive or illegal substances, healthy diet, having gratitude, mindfulness, meditation or moments of deep breathing, volunteer or help others, make a morning and bedtime routine, listen to calming music, create art, and playing/learning a musical instrument,” said Albanese.

Stress is a burden, but there are ways to handle it and decompress.

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