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How much stress change teenagers handle?

High school can be really stressful. Seniors are preparing and planning for graduation, prom, college, and life after high school. Juniors are testing throughout their whole year and freshmen are adjusting to the new challenges of high school. Sophomores might have the least amount of stress, unless the sophomore is new to the school. 

Adults will say high school is supposed to be the best years of your life. Homecoming, prom, lots of activities, and friendship all add to the excitement of high school life. However, with that excitement comes stress too: classwork, the SAT, state assessments, college decisions, financial aid, and the growing responsibility that comes with getting older. So why does high school cause more stress? With high school, comes more responsibility.

If stress is not managed or controlled properly, it can cause health problems. Uncontrolled or unmanaged stress can lead to anxiety, depression, tiredness and weight gain. 

Being the new kid, adjusting to the high expectations of high school, to the increased and rigorous classwork load, worrying about what people think of them, dating, or even just getting an unexpected break-out can all spark stress in teenagers. 

These stressors can affect how teens interact with their peers. They can become mean and/or angry to their peers and friends. This can lead to conflicts/tension/friction in relationships, or even worse, could end a relationship. Teens who think or dwell on the negative things about themselves, which could result in low self-esteem.  

Dr. Erika Karres, a psychologist and editor of the book Mean Chicks, Cliques, and Dirty Tricks, wrote, “There are pressures from family situations and economic factors. Kids hear parents worrying about jobs. They may have responsibility for younger siblings. They're under pressure to do well in school and get into top-notch colleges. They're under stress to wear the right clothes, excel in sports, and even volunteer in their communities."

Teens can deal with stress either positively or negatively. Some negative things that students do to deal with stress are procrastinate, avoid/ignore the problem, sleep too much, overeat, drink and/or smoke. These things will not solve the problem, and may increase stress. The positive things that students can do are exercise, strike a balance between work and play, find a hobby or activities that they enjoy, manage time, and talk to a trusted friend.

According to an article from APA Health Center, “Everyone is affected by stress at one time or another, and it can feel overwhelming. With the right tools, though, you can learn to manage stress before it takes a toll on your health. Managing daily stress can also lead to a more overall positive outlook on your life and well-being.”


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