Senior Stress Plagues DHS


By Ella R.

Seniors around the school find themselves distressed as college deadlines approach. Senior Averey M. said, “On a scale from one to ten, my stress level is like an 8 out of ten.” Many students share similar sentiments.

So why does the college application process cause so much stress? School psychologist, Mrs. Nemzer, said, “Just the whole process can be overwhelming, especially when you’re applying to a lot of different schools, writing the essay I’ve heard is stressful. I think that just in general kids are really stressed up until the point when they are applying to college because they have to make sure that their resume and their activities and their classes are going to help them get in.”

The American Psychological Association defines stress as “any uncomfortable emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical, physiological and behavioral changes.” It may be natural for students to feel stressed about a process as important as applying to college, but what is the tipping point of when the stress becomes too much to handle?

I think there are two types of stress, the ‘good’ kind and the ‘bad’ kind.  The ‘good’ kind is the one that gets you motivated, focused, organized so that you can get going and accomplish tasks.  The college application process is about making sure all the moving parts are being completed by the college’s set deadlines,” said college counselor Soo Lim Schortmann, “The ‘bad’ kind of stress is unnecessary.  This is the stress which produces anxiety, where students start to doubt themselves about whether they are doing the right thing, applying to the right schools and applying to the right number of schools. This is unnecessary, but unfortunately, is part of their reality.”

There are many ways students are coping with stress. Senior Christian K. said, “If I am really sad or angry, I just go down and play some music. I mean it just takes the stress away.” Students also turn to favorite activities like watching Netflix, exercising or listening to music. These all help ease the effects of stress.

It is really important to practice self-care, especially when struggling with anxiety. School psychologist Mrs. Ryan said, “making sure you have time in your day to do something fun and positive for yourself and talking to someone is really important. Sometimes when you’re stressing out about something you feel like you’re the only one doing it so if you have a chance to talk to your friends or an older sibling or a family member that has gone through the process, or even your guidance counselor, just getting other people’s perspective can help deal with the stress.”

Below is a video providing some advice for seniors in stress.

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