Falcons share their stories of stress

Staff Writer Andrei Black took on the challenge of figuring out just what percent of students at Saint Stephen’s are stressed.


Art done by Gauntlet Creative Director, Sarabeth Wester.

Andrei Black, Staff Writer

As a high school student I always find myself stressed, whether it is before a test, a big game, or even over homework. One of my most memorable moments from freshman year was stressing over a biomolecules test for Honors Biology. I remember sitting in class, sweating through my shirt, drowning in stress and anxiety. 

Nobody likes being stressed, yet everybody seems to find themselves in that situation. Everyone wants to come into class knowing they turned in all their assignments and are ready to learn. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. 

After talking with a few Saint Stephen’s students, I realized I’m not the only one who feels this constant load of stress caused by too much going on. After interviewing students across the Upper School, I found that 50% of them said they were stressed after returning to school in August. But what is causing this stress? Here are a few of their stories. Maybe they will help you eliminate some of your own.

“I miss my home activities,” said Sophomore Brady Winters, “and just being here stresses me out.” 

Sophomore Cassi O’Donnell said her stress is caused by, “the amount of homework I have, and the pressure to do well on tests. If I don’t do well on tests, I feel sick to my stomach.” 

No student should feel sick about their test. That’s not the point of them. They should feel confident and ready. Tests are simply supposed to test your knowledge and understanding. I can confidently say I always over exaggerate my tests and think I’m not ready, but I always end up doing well. I then feel nauseous and lose my appetite completely because of how I reacted. 

Junior Jayden Ribeiro-de Sá says, “The fulfilling of expectations that people want from me and the constant attention I get from other students/teachers” causes him stress. 

Interestingly enough, both the freshmen that I asked said they weren’t stressed. The freshman said they were “chugging along and just getting through the day”. As new students to the Upper School, they had nothing to be stressed about. With that being said, many seniors still feel stressed. 

Senior Ben Long said, “Keeping up with my grades and staying focused on golf” has stressed him out. “The worry about doing well in college and staying focused is still on my mind even though I’m already committed [to playing golf in college].

So according to this survey, sophomores and juniors are the most stressed of all the classes. With all the conversation and complaints that go around regarding this topic, we need to bring awareness and resolution to this issue. Whether it be a change in the classroom, relaxation time during advisory, or a club where people can talk about stressors. This needs to be changed. 

From this survey, I found out that the biggest stressors were grades, mainly homework and tests. A solution for students could be getting better prepared for tests using your study hall time to ask questions or as a time to just study.

Overall, all of us are in need of some outlet, some form of solution to this problem. The fact of the matter is, students should be excited to come to school, so let’s make that happen.