Overstressed Students

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High school students today deal with overloaded schedules, hours of homework, and heightened academic and extracurricular expectations. These demands leave students overstressed and with no time to themselves to relax or reflect. A typical day can find a student waking up at 6:30 to rush to school for a club meeting, followed by a typical school day, sports practice until 6:30, SAT prep class until 8:30, then home to eat dinner, shower, do homework, and finally fall into bed exhausted. High school students feel too much pressure to be overachievers and be involved in every extracurricular so that it will “look good” on their transcript. Trying to balance participation in extracurricular activities while preparing for SAT’s and college admissions decreases the time that students need to develop their own specific interests and mature. Thus, American high school students are less and less ready for adulthood.

Students are expected by parents, teachers, future colleges, and themselves to do everything possible to make themselves the perfect candidate for college; however, the effort students exert to live up to these expectations leaves them stressed, tired, and overworked. Extra curricular activities are meant to provide an opportunity for students to be involved in activities that will help them explore their interests and interact with peers who have similar interests. The current trend however, is for high school students to just take as many extracurricular activities as possible so that it will look good on their transcripts, and many students find themselves participating in activities for which they have no passion. High school students are focused solely on getting into college rather than on just enjoying the high school experience. Trying to participate in all of these activities leaves students with very little down time in their day, and this has led to high levels of stress among students. In a 2002 poll by the International Child and Youth Care...
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