Students experience varying levels of stress at HW

Harvard-Westlake students appear to experience constant stress. According to a recent survey, the 231 student respondents expressed how their school work and extracurriculars effects them and how they best deal with it.

When asked how constantly they feel stressed, 55.7 percent of respondents found themselves under stress daily, and 28.1 percent found themselves under stress multiple times in a week. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being low stress and 10 being high stress, 58.8 percent of respondents rated their stress levels from a 6-8, and 13.8 percent between a 9 and 10.

Additionally, 61.5 percent of respondents think the average stress level of their friends is between 6 and 8. Furthermore, 14 percent of respondents would rate their friends’ average stress level between 9 and 10.

Stress appeared to stem from many different sources. According to respondents, academics caused the most stress, as 58.8 percent of respondents were stressed by their school work, particularly science, history and language. However, many respondents recorded feeling stress in all of their subjects, particularly before a test. Academics were not the only source of stress, as 5.2 percent of respondents were anxious due only to their activities such as their sport or instrument. Additionally, 34.2 percent were stressed by both extracurriculars and schoolwork.

To deal with their stress, respondents listed several different methods. While some recorded not having an approach at all, others tried to plan their weeks, take breaks, use music to help them focus, utilize the help of a tutor, family member or friend or write in a journal. Some students found a steady routine to be helpful. Others described that attitude was key.

“I just keep calm and try to figure out the best way to get everything done,” Aditya Shokeen ‘24 said.

Specifically, many students had a special approach for larger assignments and tests.

“Sometimes, if I’m extremely stressed about a test or a large assignment, I’ll study with a friend, or use stress relievers, such as stress balls. I’ll try to finish study guides well before tests so that I’m not cramming the night before and have time for my other commitments,” an anonymous survey respondent said.

Many students had individual rituals that helped them, exemplifying that each individual has a different way that they best destress. However, there were several commonalities, as 51.4 percent of respondents said friends and family helped to decrease their stress, 71.2 percent found taking breaks helped, 53.2 percent recorded music helped, 55 percent said time management skills helped and 40.1 percent found creating schedules helped

More respondents suggested ways in which the school could aid them in destressing. Some said that teachers should coordinate on heavy homework nights and testing days. Others felt R and R weekends should have no exceptions to giving homework.

However, respondents had advice for friends who are dealing with stress.

“My advice to another student who was feeling extremely stressed out would be to manage their time wisely. It really helps to have a lot of your work done in advance the day before a test so that you’ll have time to study, as well as having your study guides done well before the test,” in response to the survey, Frances Ross ’22 said.

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