Stress (pt.2)

Again I’m a super stressed out person, we covered that. Well my history teacher, as if sensing my stress, mentioned a statistic that was in no way shape or form even remotely relevent to the class discussion. Anyways the statistic was that 1 in 3 cal state students are homeless. A few things to consider: it’s credibility for one thing. Frankly I’m too tired to look up whether this is true or not.

*hmm wonder why I start blogging at midnight every night*

If it is true though, I wouldn’t be surprised. You know that feeling when you know your not doing the right thing? For example when you got caught cheating on a test. That’s how the mere thought of college makes me feel. I feel physically sick. Yes, it is incredibly difficult to make a living without a college degree, not impossible, but very difficult. I could blame this aversion to college on many things. Lately I have been reintroduced  back into my hometown, the place I feel I truly belong. With all in consideration, I have been considering my self image but also my philosophies that I swear by.

I cannot pin point why I am practically allergic to the idea of college but I’ve had a rude awakening. I believe everyone has a purpose, possibly the reason we are here. Perhaps that’s the reason I am running from further education. It could be that I’m a typical indecisive teenager and am sick of school. I’d think looking at colleges would get me excited but somehow that’s not the case. I have heard many things about our educational system and can see many faults in it. Not particularly college but grade school. The classroom hasn’t changed in the last century and teen stress levels have risen by 40% in that same century. It doesn’t take a brain scientist to figure out that it’s school causing this anxiety.

Let’s think about this, first of all its not healthy to try and do academic studies before 10 am scientifically because teenagers are nocturnal around their early to late teen and require more sleep cause we are going through some changes that require a lot of energy. Who would have guessed. In Switzerland students aren’t assigned homework until the 11th grade and their academic performance is also far superior than ours. There, teachers are as highly respected as doctors because it is difficult to become a teacher. I have watched my fellow peers have literal mental break downs from receiving lower than an A in a class. Some of these kids believe their life depends on a letter grade. I’m a sort of orphan if you will and always have taken my education into my own hands. When I took the hardest AP class my sophomore year I began to get so stressed and I had to be constantly reminded to put my health before my school work. I remember I had an F in the class and crammed for a writing assessment that night and was exhausted. I kept waking up buried in papers. Eventually I gave up and went to bed. When I walked in my teacher asked if I was ready for the exam and I smiled at him and said “no”. I had hit rock bottom. I had nothing to loose. I ended up doing great on the exam. My point is, students are so heavily pressured by parents, teachers, and administrators to do well in school they forget to live. I was the most antisocial I have ever been because of that one class. 

For me a release is to hang out with friends. Tell me how it makes any logical sense for this: go to school from 8am-3pm, my school says that ap classes assign 2 hours of homework a night and regular classes assign about an hour. My schools weird and only has four periods. Let’s say a regular person had my schedule of 2 honors/AP classes and 2 regular classes plus a class after school on Thursdays that assigned homework. That’s 7 hours of homework on a Thursday and 5 on any other day. I get home around 4 because we don’t get out until 3:15 and I have a longish drive home. So that means I will be doing homework until 9pm without a break after a full academic day. Let’s say I don’t start till five. I won’t finish till ten and this excludes the hour or two for shower getting pjs on and eating food. That’s ridiculous, imagine Thursday’s stress load. Or even better imagine a full 6 period class day plus sports. Hmmm I wonder why teen anxiety is more prominent. Even suicides among students are rising. 

This is today’s society. We work from age five on to get a piece of paper to work for another four years to get another piece of paper while being at risk of homelessness, depression, and debt before we even own anything because college is so expensive. By the time you leave college you have already built up debt and jobs will still be competitive even with the special paper. So was it worth it? They say don’t do drugs while your young because it will do mental damage but doesn’t anxiety do the same thing? No one has stopped to ask why I’m stressed at just the thought of college, well this is why. I don’t want to support a system that crushes the souls of children, yeah it sounds dramatic but it’s not. One of my classmates last year got behind in school because he was sick and his teachers emailed his parents explaining that he was falling far behind and his parents got mad at him and told him to tough it out. Later that week he killed himself. Stress is a serious thing. Maybe I’m afraid because I don’t believe it’s my fate but perhaps it’s because I refuse to further my stress anymore. I refuse to let my stress consume me and if that means not going to college then so be it. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Let me apologize now, this was a long rant but I have been really irritable and stressed because of this and had to vent for a second. I actually didn’t think that this was going to become anything but people actually like it and that’s pretty rad so I wanted to say thanks 🙂 This one is kind of a ramble rant, sorry I’m tired. 

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One thought on “Stress (pt.2)

  1. Hannah, your post is a really articulate and poignant ‘in the trenches’ view of the daily stresses of today’s high school student. You are not alone in these feelings. Madeline Levine, a practicing therapist from Marin County, has treated many high school students who have had experiences similar to yours. She has written a book called
    “The Price of Privilige” (Available at SCPL)
    http://catalog.santacruzpl.org/polaris/search/title.aspx?ctx=1.1033.0.0.6&cn=173142
    You might also be interested in an excellent documentary on the subject called “Race to Nowhere” (Available to stream from Netflix)
    https://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Race-to-Nowhere/70147810?strackid=d22a1f598312401_1_acomplete

    Both of these sources suggest ways that students might reduce stress levels.

    Your history teacher was probably referring to a study commissioned by the president of CSU, and reported in the LA Times last June, which found that 1 in 10 (not 1 in 3) CSU students is homeless. Still, this is a staggering and shocking (really shameful) number. At 460,000 students, CSU is the largest public University system in the nation (probably in the world). In some ways it is reflective of the economic situation of the nation as well.
    The LA Times article can be found here:
    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-cal-state-homelessness-20160620-snap-story.html
    The study itself, here:
    https://presspage-production-content.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/1487/cohomelessstudy.pdf?10000

    Keep up the great posts!

    Like

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