The Johnny Green

The student news site of Weedsport

The Johnny Green

The student news site of Weedsport

The Johnny Green

The student news site of Weedsport

School Takes a Toll on Mental Health

School+Takes+a+Toll+on+Mental+Health

“Kids act different ways to one another, and all the pressure to be a good student is hard on kids,” says Emma Millus, a recent Weedsport graduate. As kids get older it’s obvious that they go through changes and some of these changes come with mental health changes. Most students experience mental health issues like anxiety, mood, attention behavior disorders, depression, etc. School can help in ways with mental health, but the other side of reality is that it makes some students’ mental health worse. 

As said in the quote, academic pressure is a big issue for kids and their mental health. Most kids in school are doing extracurriculars and spending all their time trying to keep up their grades and the pressure some kids have from their parents definitely doesn’t help. The amount of time kids put into school just to go home to do more outside activities is unhealthy. There comes a point when kids need a break to breathe. 

After asking high school students what they think the most stressful thing about school so far is, the answers were all about the work they get, the amount, or how hard their work is. Ayla Stark, a junior at Weedsport says, “Definitely the amount of work that I have just because of the classes I take.” Learning that Ayla takes a college class automatically makes her course work more difficult. People may say things like “Why take the class if you cannot handle it?” but it isn’t that students cannot handle the work they get, it’s that they are overwhelmed by the amount and not being able to have a break. 

Going back to the question about what the most stressful thing about school is, Joseph Lott, a senior, also shows his complaints about the amount of work he has. “The amount of homework it’s just too much. I take AP government, French 5, physics, calculus, College English, broadcast journalism, and econ.” Out of all these classes, Lott says AP Government is the hardest, “…most amount of work, you have to do essays. It’s more like processing what’s going on in the government and doing your own opinions instead of just straight up answers.” 

To compare these answers with other students The Johnny Green asked middle schoolers what they thought the most stressful thing was. “Trying to get to class on time. It’s just a struggle with everybody pushing you out of the way to get to class,” says 8th grade student Miley Teal. There is an obvious difference between these answers. The high school students are stressing over school work while middle schoolers are stressing over getting to class. You can clearly tell the issue and divide. Middle schoolers are not given the hard work high schoolers are given for obvious reasons but they are also not given as much work. It’s clear why they wouldn’t get harder work but students should be getting equal amounts of work. Middle schoolers have also not reached the level of needing as much academic pressure on them as high schoolers need. 

Students are all different and therefore think differently meaning they will make their own choices in life and approach certain situations differently. Everyone gets upset and hurt in their life and will need a way to cope with how they’re feeling and what’s going through their mind especially in high school. Holding in your emotions when you’re in high school or school in general is not healthy. You can become overwhelmed with everything that’s going on and breakdown. I asked the same students how they like to be supported when they are upset. Middle schoolers said “I talk to my friends and they give me advice that helps me,” says Teal. Meanwhile high schoolers said, “I kinda just sleep. I don’t really talk to anyone, I just sleep.” “I don’t like to be supported, I like to be alone.”  These answers may not seem like much because it’s their personal preference but it does show something about their mental health. This shows how differently younger kids deal with their emotions compared to high schoolers. Younger kids are more willing to talk about their feelings whereas high school students keep what they’re feeling inside and brush it away. This could be for many reasons but one of the most common reasons is the response of their friends.

When you’re in school your relationships with your peers are everything because these are the kids you spend the most of your life with. These are the kids you make all your memories with. The kids you will remember 20 years from now on a random Thursday. You would think having a good relationship with the other kids in your grade would be fairly easy but it’s not. Bad relationships can start when you’re young. When you’re young you think you can get away with everything you say and sometimes kids can and that’s the problem. Without discipline at an early age for saying rude stuff you can never learn and therefore you will just keep saying it.

Teal described the people in her grade to get an understanding of what they’re like: “Annoying and rude because they’re not quiet and when they’re supposed to be they’re not and they just talk 24/7.” People might hear this and think not to stress over it because they’re just little kids and don’t know much about anything yet, but this can start the fall of students’ mental health. Some students can take what people say straight to the heart and suddenly their words are all they can think about for months. That’s not healthy. Stark and Lott both explained that the people in their grades are split into two groups: the cool people who are fun to be around and the people who are pushed behind to the shadows. This can also cause problems in the mental health because high school shouldn’t feel like a teen movie where people are forced into different cliques. By doing that it makes people think there is something wrong with them and they don’t belong. 

Staying positive is something every student has deep inside them no matter how their mental health is. Every student has hope in winning their game, passing their test, or just having a good day. Positivity can really change someone’s day for the better because you never know what they are going through so in school and growing up in general it’s important you are nice to everyone even if you don’t want to be. Do these students think the cup is half full or half empty? Stark says “Half full because it’s better to be positive than negative.” Lott says, “Half full because there’s something there so that’s better than nothing.” Teal says, “I don’t know why but I think half full.” This question might seem unimportant but underneath the surface it shows that whatever is going on in these students’ lives they are positive people and do hope for the best in life or else they would have thought the cup was half empty. 

As Lott said, “There’s always something there so that’s better than nothing.”

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About the Contributor
Aubrey Guy is a sophomore at Weedsport. This is her first year of journalism. She enjoys spending time with her friends as well as spending time at dance class. She joined journalism because she likes to write and wanted to expand her skills. She is looking forward to learning more about journalism this year.