Stuck Between Success and Stress

A closer look at the emotions of Osbourn High School Students

A typical school year lasts about 10 months. A school day lasts about 8 hours. Most of our lives thus far are spent inside of a school building. “Sometimes I feel trapped after spending so many hours in here, all I can think about is coming home to the one thing that truly makes me happy, my bed,” sophomore Samuel Pessoa said.

We are consumed by the educational system. As teenagers, these are the years that we are growing as people the most. It is made difficult when our main focus is to maintain good grades and trying to meet the standards that are set for us.

“I feel really pressured by the grading aspect of the school system. I think students focus more on passing than actually learning,” said Adrian Stevens, senior. Having passing scores is what determines your future when you are a student. For some students that can cause a lot of anxiety and stress. 

“I want to be successful, but I hate the idea that teachers have made that college is the only way to succeed. It puts a lot of pressure on me, and it stresses me out, sometimes it feels like it sets me back,” said junior Shelley Chicas. Teachers play a big role in what students choose to focus more on.

“I try to be patient, I try to be understanding, I try to do different things so that we aren’t doing the same thing all the time,” said history teacher Jessica Yankovitz. The school has a few sources that would help students with their mental health, but not many students are open to asking for help.

“I think no one wants to say ‘I have an eating disorder’ or ‘im depressed’ because they think it’s embarrassing. If we remove that stigma there would be a better conversation, I know people don’t talk about it,” said Yankovitz. Not speaking up is a problem that we all have, it tends to get the best of us and keeps us from bettering ourselves.

“I feel as I keep my emotions bottled up for so long they kind of just blend together and form this giant mess that makes no sense to me. I pretty much just ignore it until it goes away. I know it’s not healthy but it has become a habit. I’m just too busy to pay attention to it,” said Pessoa. Living a double life can also cause stress on a student, having a job and going to school can affect one’s mental state. 

“I work 5 ½ hours on most days after school. I have to make my money somehow, so I need to work. It makes me super tired, so I tend to fall asleep during class and that puts me behind. My grades go down and so does my confidence. I do my best to get by, and I have found a couple of things that get me through it,” said Stevens. Finding a good coping mechanism lessens the stress and anxiety that come with having a full schedule.

“I find small ways to distract myself, most of the time I watch Netflix or Youtube. A thing that really helps is venting to my close friends, which normally makes me feel better because they understand me. I think talking and communication can make a big difference in your mood,” said Chicas. Having support and people to talk to can benefit your mental health. 

“We need to work as a group to remove the stigma we have with mental health. Teachers may also need more training if someone says something they will know how to handle it,” said Yankovitz.