By: Samay Patel and Sheetal Tadiparty
If you are a student of today, you are likely juggling all kinds of demands, from school, to extracurriculars, part-time jobs and other accomplishments. Across the board, what unites students nationwide is the extremely high stress and anxiety levels. Stress is no stranger, and the degree of risk for anxiety and depression is soaring. The American Psychological Association noted a dramatic increase in psychological problems reported among students themselves.
School is stressful; after all, we are on the brink of starting a new chapter of our lives, starting a career. It's so easy to get caught up in the hecticness of our workload, we often forget to take a step back to appreciate other equally, or even more important things, such as our mental health.
I'm not saying to get those eight hours of sleep every night and completely disregard your grades. Of course, GPA is important. But as students, we should be able to know that it doesn't determine our intelligence or sense of self-worth or your state of mind. Caffeine binges and an hour of sleep is okay every once in a while, but take it from someone who used to do it on the regular: it's not worth it.
Everyone has their remedies for when they're stressed out but the best thing to do is give yourself a mental break, and get the right amount of sleep. Set realistic goals, because so much more is attainable when you're in a healthy state of mind.
As students who attend one of the most competitive high schools in Georgia, stress approaches us a constant in our lives. Throughout my three years in high school, one of the lessons I have learned is to power through no matter how bad it gets. We must be strong-willed to undermine all the tests, quizzes, projects and more that are continually thrown at us. But sometimes, it can all add up to one night or one week.
Students' stress levels today are comparable to mental institution patients. Instead of living in a supportive environment, the agony of high school students is comparable with those declared to be criminally insane.
But why, why do students continue to sacrifice their health for that one test or that one assignment? It is out of fear — fear of not being good enough or fear or not being number one.
I find this to be flat out unreasonable because why would you put yourself at risk for simply trying to be better than others? With this, we push away those we call our friends and isolate ourselves from people who would usually care for us. This toxic environment prevents us from trusting each other fully and in some cases, leads to us bringing down people that we call friends. Instead of trying to sabotage others for something so trivial, learn to help each other and work through hardships we all go through. That way we can be more supportive and understanding of each other.
It's so easy to be caught up in today's world revolving around GPA's and awards and scholarships. We need to take a step back and realize how detrimental it is to our mental health and change our ways.