Column: How much pressure is too much?


Parker Nolan

With AP exams and the end of school approaching, TRL's Nicole Genrich explains how stressful school can be.

Nicole Genrich, Staff Reporter

Junior Daniela Benigno walks down the hallway trying to make a mental list of all the things she needs to do. Service hours, homework, studying for AP tests, tennis practice, sorting out friend drama, and attending meetings could be running through the her head. Daniela resembles a typical Lovejoy student.

Day after day, many students find themselves sleep deprived and dragging themselves to practices, rehearsals, or meetings that take up countless hours every week, not counting thehours of schoolwork required. There is so much emphasis today on being the best and putting in hours of work in each thing a student does.

The sad reality is that many students today struggle to keep their mental health in line with all their responsibilities and expectations.

Demanding extracurriculars require not only a lot of time and energy, but also constant participation. Many activities are year round with very short breaks in between, explaining how some  eventually burn out. It begs the question, how does the pressure impact students?

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love being busy–but sometimes I wonder if that is something I, and others, have been taught.. Fom a young age, Leopards are taught to be “well-rounded,” to “work for justice through community service,” and to be “intellectually equipped.” Lovejoy especially puts emphasis on maintaining a perfect GPA along with leading clubs, volunteering in the community and playing sports.

In the year 2000, The American Psychological Association reported that college students and children’s anxiety levels were rising to be as high or higher than the average patient in an asylum in the early 1990s.

With the added pressure of trying to overload their schedule with rigorous courses that will look impressive on college applications, some students find themselves drowning in hours of work, unable to enjoy the little things.

The times are also catching up with us. In a world where technology is rapidly innovating to be better, faster, and newer, we are expected to know more than the last generation. This is a great thing as humanity propels forward, but how much pressure is this on the mind?

“I think the fact that there is so much emphasis on standardized testing and that students today are being dragged in so many different directions it adds so much to the pressure and stress put on students,” psychology teacher John Baker said.

Next time you’re stressing about taking difficult classes, adding extracurriculars or counting up service hours just so they will look good on college applications, remember that there is intelligence and strength that cannot be measured by the cookie- cutter mold.