Balancing the Stress Load


Art by Angeline Tan

Seemani Dash, Copy Editor

The average American student deals with a boatload of pressures ranging from academic struggles to social stress. For years, I’ve watched the people around me push past healthy limits in order to pursue their idea of “success.” However, the real pressure now is planning for the near future — that “happy ending” only happens if the present is successful. We live in a society where students face numerous pressures on their paths to adulthood. As a result, many are unable to cope when the stress increases.

It’s no secret that teenagers today face high levels of stress. To get to college, students are challenged to maintain a high GPA, stay involved with clubs and sports and give back to the community whether through a job or service projects. On top of that, most kids attempt to keep a semblance of a social life while juggling academic achievement. How are teenagers expected to then factor in the time for family, self-care and sleep?

Personally speaking, it’s difficult to keep track of all the responsibilities and still think of the people around us. Knowing how to multitask is one thing, but to meet the expectations created by peer pressure, we often take on more things than we can physically handle. Every day, I walk into school knowing that most of my friends survive on little sleep, unhealthy diets and major stress. So, why are habits like these the norm for simply making it through high school?

Remember when you were a kid and would want to be one of the “older kids”? Now we’re still relatively young, but we are expected to act as adults. Although it’s healthy to learn adulting skills, it’s just as important to keep in mind that these are our fabled “golden years.” Instead of living a life where we’re constantly worried about the future, we should instead discover ourselves here in the present. In the words of Kung Fu Panda character Master Oogway, “Today is a gift. That is why they call it the present.”