The rise of stress among teens

Valeria Luquin

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This infographic information was obtained through a poll conducted on 231 DPMHS students. The poll was collected by DPMHS Student Media Staff.

As finals approach, stress levels spike among high school students. Having heavy loads of homework and pressure to do well academically are a constant stressor in most teen’s lives.  

“I panic a lot. I overthink a lot of stuff, schoolwork mainly,” sophomore Vivian Reyes said. “ I constantly think about the next day or what I’m missing, what I need to do and how I’m going to do it.”

Over the years, teen stress has become more evident. According to a 2014 study included in a USA Today article, teens reported that they felt an average of 5.8 out of 10 regarding their stress levels. That level of stress reflects how they felt throughout the school year rather than in the summer. Now, school can be found as a common source of stress in teens. 

According to a 2019 survey included in a neaToday article, 29 percent of teens say they feel pressured to look good while 28 percent feel pressured to fit in socially. The article also includes that increasing your use of social media can disrupt how much sleep you get along with feeling socially isolated. 

A PSYCOM website article that included a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association states that 83 percent of stress in teens comes from school, 69 percent comes from college and 65 percent is due to financial concerns for their family. 

In November, 231 Daniel Pearl Magnet High School students took a survey on their experience with stress. 88.31 percent of students reported that they have felt stressed this year and 63.43 percent reported that schoolwork was the biggest cause of their stress.  

 “I think stress is high in teenagers today because of the academic pressure,” Psychiatric Social Worker JoAnne Tuell said. “Although I don’t believe that every student needs to go to college, there’s family pressures, financial concerns (and) peer pressure to name a few.”  

Teens pursue multiple extracurricular activities to make themselves stand out on college applications. Some have one or more jobs while others are on a sports team. Pressure from parents and wanting to excel academically also pile onto the mountain of stress building inside a teen. 

Balancing all of these activities and trying to do well 24/7 can be very overwhelming and draining. It leads to them having a lot on their minds. Furthermore, when it’s time to finally go to sleep, a million thoughts are running through their heads. In a study done by the National Sleep Foundation, 73 percent of teens who are reported to feel unhappy, sad or depressed also don’t get enough sleep at night and feel tired throughout the day. 

“I get around five to six hours of sleep mostly,” junior Jacqueline Prava said. “(Homework and studying) keeps me up at night. I usually think about it and over analyze it. Before I go to sleep, I just worry a lot.” 

Getting a good amount of sleep is essential for a teen’s health and wellbeing. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens need to get around 8 to 10 hours of sleep. Destressing and taking time to relax are important as well. Writing down the things that stress you out, throughout the day or before going to sleep, can help clear and relax your mind. 

“As difficult as it might be to manage stress, it is possible. A lot of the times, it’s really just taking a moment out for yourself to relax. I think that’s crucial,” senior Ivan Moreno said. “I think a lot of students are nervous about their future. It’s just so much information all at once and a lot of decision making all at once that you have to make.”