OpEd: Students Feel to Much Pressure at the End of the Year


Photo Courtesy of Hayley Otten

A student at Silver Creek High School works hard to finish all the work she has been assigned at the end of the year.

Imagine being a student at Silver Creek High School at the end of the year and having been studying in the library for hours. After attending four classes that day, the students decide to stay in the library to make sure they get their homework done, and when they leave two hours later, their work isn’t finished. This leads the student to be overly stressed and worried to come to school the next day.
Many students at Silver Creek High School are starting to feel the pressure from work as the year comes to an end. With less then a month left of school, course work is starting to feel cramped and the homework is piling in. Finals and Advanced Placement (AP) testing are causing many students to feel a mental toll. Is there a way for students to find some relief?
Some students have been devoting a large majority of their free time to their studies and are hoping there could be some more time to catch up on their mental health. Whether this be in or out of school, having some time for mental health may help in just the smallest ways.
“[School] is coming to an end so [teachers are] just cramming [in work]…” says Fiona Henry, an AP student at Silver Creek High School. She continues “which means [that students] have a bunch of work for every class and that’s just really stressful,”
Henry is not the only one feeling this pressure. Some students are not even able to produce the quality work that they are striving for.
According to a study done by Imed Bouchrika, a Chief Data Scientist, Finals and midterms make up 31% of U.S. students stress. While workload made up 23% and homework made up 13% of the students overall stress.
Many students at Silver Creek high school feel the weight of the stress and are trying to catch up. But the workload is challenging to balance.
“The days [toward the] end [of] school feels like a continuous game trying to catch up on work,” says Catherine Ruiz, a student at Silver Creek High School. “It’s disappointing because I feel like I can’t turn in my best work.”
Currently at Silver Creek High School, many students have free blocks that they can use to study. This is very beneficial, but with many teachers having classes during those periods, it’s hard to find help or support.
The school does offer tutoring after school, which many students go to for help, but many others are not fortunate enough to be able to attend. Students may need to ride the bus home or catch a ride because their parents are unable to pick them up. Or the students have made other commitments like sports that they can’t miss.
“Being gone at sports has an impact on how well [my] assignment is done, because I don’t get full instruction on the assignment and might miss a step or two” says Ruiz, who is also a track student athlete.
Student athletes have a hard time making it to tutoring if they need help and this also causes them to miss some instructions. They feel more pressure to get the work done at home and in return have more stress because they may not have done it correctly.
A way to decrease the stress level of students may be to have more time in class, more time to work, or to have more interactive classes. A teacher at Silver Creek is trying to do this in her classes.
“For the [last] two units [my class] does art projects and acts out Shakespeare,” says Sarah Heilbronner, an English and AP research teacher at Silver Creek High School. “We [have fun] in class because I know that these sophomores, or some of them, are going through their first AP tests.”
Heilbronner also suggests that if students are struggling with work to ask other students for help because sometimes they can give the push students need. Or they can give you an idea that hasn’t been thought of before.
Just by having a more interactive class and others to work with, many students can feel less pressure and can feel less bombarded with homework. As the year comes to an end hopefully many other teachers will see the stress and take more action next year.