Stress Undermines Enjoyment at School

By Bryan Fletcher, Art Director

Between juggling class schedules, extracurricular activities and trying to sleep for eight hours, almost every student at CHS is trying their best to reduce the everyday stress that accompanies school.

Unfortunately, many students remain overwhelmed by the amount of work they are given, spending hours completing homework and studying for upcoming assessments. Often times, this becomes such a problem in our lives that students work only for the grade, as opposed to finding any enjoyment in class.

This abundance of stress is a major issue that should be directly addressed in order to shift the focus in academics from grades to motivation, as school is a place where learning should be sought after by students, not detested by them.

The amount of school work for high school students has been notoriously overwhelming for years now, beginning with the authorization of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which put more priority on academic success.

According to an 2013 NPR article and poll, the level of stress in teens has been steadily increasing for years, with nearly 40 percent of parents saying their children are experiencing stress from school.

But the schoolwork and tests are not the only problem causing a decrease in classroom motivation. Expectations from parents and teachers to get into high-ranking colleges has led many students to think that anything less than perfect performance is unacceptable. Even on top of the work that is given out by school, college applications and preparations are a constant weight on the shoulders of upperclassmen trying to focus on grades.

Students seem to have stopped caring about what is being taught and have become motivated solely by grades. This is not how students, particularly high school students, should go through their youth.

There are several possible ways of addressing this issue, such as diminishing the amount of work given out to students on a daily basis, becoming more engaged in class through interactive lessons and lowering the priority on grades as a whole.

For such changes to be introduced, support from higher members of the MCPS education system would be needed, which, based on the previous statistics about stress, could be rather simple to obtain. Once implemented into high school classrooms, these changes have the possibility to radically alter how students act in school.

However, this is not to say that homework and studying are completely unnecessary.

According to a Lesson Plans Page article titled “10 Benefits of Homework,” limited homework output has been proven to increase the sense of responsibility of young adults entering the professional world as well as their independence and problem solving skills.

Nonetheless, the largely overwhelming aspect to schoolwork and homework is responsible for students becoming severely stressed and overworked or burned out and apathetic. This is a problem which needs to be addressed.