School Stress 101


Manya Kamara

Nick Walechka, junior, looking stressed over his Spanish homework.

Stress is something we have all experienced, but we may often find ourselves wondering, “what brings it on and how do you deal with it?”

When we become overwhelmed in a setting or situation, it’s easy for us to get stressed out. What’s not so easy, however, is controlling the stress. With the long days, amounts of homework and college prep that students do, controlling stress can sometimes seem impossible.

Is stress truly uncontrollable or are we just using the wrong methods to cope with it?

According to Cotter counselor, Ms. Mitzi Storm, “Organization and self care are key. Using a planner and taking time to yourself to exercise, relax or participate in a hobby are all ways to prevent stress.”

All students are given planners at the beginning of the year, but not all students actually use them. A majority of the students said that they used to use the planner but have started using it less and less as the year goes by. How could this be?

“Organization and self care are key. Using a planner and taking time to yourself to exercise, relax or participate in a hobby are all ways to prevent stress”

— Mitzi Storm, school counselor

According to Karen Higgenbottom’s article on, “Workplace stress leads to less productive employees”, meaning that stressful environments create less productive and organized activity.

As the year goes by, student life becomes more stressful and it’s easy to feel less productive and begin to use your planner less. The key to that is to keep pushing through and using these anti stress tactics.

Recently our seniors have been working on their capstone papers and this has been a stress inducer for them.

“I just cry on the bathroom floor”  Savannah Scharmach, a current senior, said describing her method of dealing with the issue.

This doesn’t seem like the best tactic, but this just goes to show how many students are stressed and don’t know how to deal with it.

Hope Howard, another senior, said, “prioritizing your time to work on your paper is important for capstone.”

This is similar to what Mrs. Storm said, are we seeing a pattern?

“Students struggle with stress everyday and is usually what takes up the majority of my schedule. Less social media time and more sleep are the best ways to limit stress, ” Ms. Storm said.

Students spend a lot of time on social media and it only adds more to the stress. Most students say that they go on social media in order to take a break from stress. Little do they know, their de-stress activity could actually be what’s causing them the most stress.

“ I just play video games when I’m stressed out” Abraham Kamara, sophomore, said.

“I like to listen to music in the car or watch TV,” added junior Ceili Demarais.

“I just go on instagram and procrastinate even more,” laughed junior Jenna Rickoff.

This isn’t an uncommon strategy among students and even adults.

Do you ever find yourself doing other things in order to keep putting off an important task? I know I do.

Does this really give us a break or just less time to meet a deadline? Sometimes being organized and focusing on your priorities first is the best way to stop stress. If we took the time to complete our tasks before we take a break, we might feel a little more relaxed.

If you’re an underclassmen don’t freak out. Although the seniors are stressed about their capstone, a majority of them have said that it’s not so bad if you take the time to work on it and choose a topic you’re passionate about.