The Student Newspaper of Paint Branch High School


The Student Newspaper of Paint Branch High School


The Student Newspaper of Paint Branch High School


Stress: Perception or Reality?

Have you ever pondered why school feels like such a burden for many people, maybe even yourself? Well, the truth is, school takes most of the blame for teens when they have to deal with a lot of stress, but whether or not this is perception or reality is an important question.

In her article, “Managing Stress in High School,” Pamela Reynolds brings up a variety of factors students could be stressed about, including the academic demands of high school and their futures. She writes, “In high school, not only are you worried about next week’s English, History or Calculus exam, but you’re also worried about applying to college and taking the SAT tests, too.”

Often, students blame their stress on school work and teachers who are always assigning a large amount of homework. In fact, according to Pamela Reynolds, 45% of students said they had a hard time concentrating on schoolwork. However, it may be time to look at all the work with a new ideology. Roaming through the halls of Paint Branch are students who deal with this issue each and every day. Those who shared their thoughts expressed that homework does indeed have a negative impact on them. However, the general consensus among them was that this is actually more of a perception because they see procrastination as the main culprit of their stress.

Ruth T., a junior at PB, shares that her stress levels have increased since the beginning of the school year. “The amount of assignments I have been given since the start of the school year definitely increased my stress levels,” she states. “I went home crying a lot of times due to the amount of pressure my assignments put on me. I stay up doing homework till midnight – sometimes past – to get perfect grades.” Ruth blames both her teachers and herself for this stress but does admit that procrastination plays a role. “I take a two-hour nap and end up procrastinating through my assignments.”

Another PB junior, Bethania M., feels the work that’s mainly causing her an increased amount of stress is from her AP classes. She says, “I don’t think teachers take into consideration how many assignments we are given from our other AP classes. If one teacher is giving their students a large amount of work, then it’s going to leave the student with no choice but to procrastinate on their other assignments, since one assignment is so time-consuming.” Bethania feels the main reason assignments cause students a large amount of stress is their unhealthy working habits, which often include purposely pushing off their work for later and ending up with nothing done.

A third PB student, senior McKenzie W., shares that the stress that comes from school assignments is both perception and reality. McKenzie says, “Based on how you handle your workload outside of school will have you at peace or stressed out. I know for me, my stress level has definitely increased ever since work from all my classes started piling up last quarter. I’m literally struggling every single day.”

McKenzie blames the increase in her stress on the countless amounts of assignments she is given throughout her classes. She says the expectations her teachers have for her to finish her work on time also cause her an increased amount of stress. She does accuse herself of procrastinating, though most of the time this is due to the difficulty of the assignment. “If my perception of the assignment is stressful then I’m most likely pushing it for later,”.

These three upperclassmen have advice to help students handle the stress caused by school assignments. Some of these solutions include asking teachers for help and not pushing your assignments until the last minute. In regard to these, Bethania notes that while she can’t control what teachers assign, she can control her behavior. “There isn’t much I can do about the teachers and how much work they chose to assign, but I know students can help reduce their stress by trying to get their work done on time and not procrastinate.”

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About the Contributor
Betel Mekonnen, Staff Writer
Most students dread the thought of school beginning. The endless homework, the back-to-back tests, the late night studying. However, for Paint Branch junior Betel Mekonnen, being back in school is the highlight of her social life.  For someone who values time with her friends, school is a vessel for Betel to spend time with them. Betel rates her life a “9 out of 10, because I’m having a lot of fun with my friends.” She adds, “I thought the school year would be really stressful, but it’s not bad.”  While she was a bit  fearful at first, the panic of school beginning disappeared the moment she realized she would get to spend time with her friends. Betel would’ve rated life a perfect 10  if she were able to spend time with her cousins and friends without the worry of school work. Perhaps this is why she is already looking  forward to summer  break.  As Betel looks forward to another wonderful summer break (even though the last one just ended), she also looks forward to the transition of snow melting as the sun says hello to the new green leaves that are ready to grow as spring blossoms. This is why spring is her favorite season; bright new greens, like her favorite color, growing in the perfect temperature of the warm sun hugging you as the calm wind blows.  Like Goldilocks, spring is not too cold, not too hot, it’s just right!  As an extrovert, it’s in Betel’s nature to have new experiences and adventures. At the same time of her favorite season, she will be participating in a new experience when she plays for the Paint Branch tennis team this year. With the same amount of love as she has for new experiences, Betel also approaches traveling. Traveling enables Betel to experience new environments and new people. As for why she enjoys traveling so much, Betel states that it “helps me understand where the majority of the people come from and helps me learn about their lifestyle and culture.”  For Betel, on one hand is the endless adventures of new experiences, while on the other hand is the determination of a student passionate about her future.  Both are treasured assets of Betel, a person who is determined to go into the medical field for either anesthesiology or to combine her passions and pursue a career as a travel nurse. For a studious student like Betel who is ambitious and passionate about her future, it will be a piece of cake. By: Bianca Barkmeyer

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