Diplomas or Disorders?

Stress. We all talk about it on a daily basis and most often than not it correlates with school or work. The word may even seem overused to most people but it definitely is not to be underestimated.

Teenagers are the most susceptible and vulnerable to stress and are ironically the group of people who suffer from it the most. This is to blame for a number of factors including social life, media culture and sports although the main culprit is; school.

School is arguably the most vital part of a child and teenager’s development and shapes them into the person they become and want to be in the future to live a fulfilled life. However when diplomas are handed out with an added bonus of disorders the issue surely must be addressed.

According to a recent study carried out by the American Psychological Association 30% of teens are claiming to experience phases of sadness and depression and are blaming it on stress. 31% of teens are feeling overwhelmed by this stress, often reported as being caused by school. And reported stress levels in teens are at 5.8 on a scale of 10 whereas adults are at a 5.1 on average.

Not only do teenagers suffer from stress inflicted on them through school and the excessive amounts of schoolwork they have, but their social lives and extracurricular activities which are meant to start shaping their futures account for added stress.

On average teenagers report to be doing over 3 hours of schoolwork a day once they get home according to a Stanford University Study. Not only is this number absurd but considering that most schools end around 4 this leaves barely any time for other activities.

When doctors are screaming at us that we should be getting at least 8.5 hours of sleep daily, our councilors at school are insisting we join a number of clubs and make sure we do sports because without it our health will suffer, it is absolutely no wonder that at least 25% of all teens suffer from severe anxiety and 70% of teenagers will suffer from more than one episode of depression before adulthood, which, if untreated, could lead to even more serious damage.

Of course school and schoolwork is vital for our academic development and small amounts of stress are healthy. That said however, keep in mind that we are sent to school to learn, not to burnout before we can even legally vote.