The pressure from above

High school students undergo an enormous amount of responsibility passed down from their peers.

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Megan Harding

Adults put an exorbitant amount of pressure on students to always perform well. Senior Mackenzie Meltzer has to balance all areas of her life, despite the added stress it might create.

Antioch Community High School offers various opportunities for students to become involved throughout their four years; however, becoming so active in school with clubs and sports comes with an added layer of pressure. Having to be the ideal straight-A teen can start to change the strength of one’s mental stability. 

Pew Research Center found that students under tremendous amounts of pressure start to develop anxiety and depression disorders. The PRC did a study amongst teens in order to find which areas they feel the need to succeed in. The top-ranking areas were academics, appearance, fitting in, extracurricular activities and sports.

Adults of these students want the best for them, but have become less understanding towards the overwhelmed teens. Senior Paul Adams began to realize a pattern to how adults handle the needs of teens. 

Adults show little empathy towards students in their situation because they always give you the ‘back in my day’ instead of being there or trying to help you out,” Adams said. “I also feel adults have their own lives, so everything you need from them conflicts with their agenda.”

Student-athletes also have to manage to keep their GPA above 2.0 in order to participate in their sport. On top of that, there is the pressure of playing well in the game with a voice of doubt feeding into their brain. There are often different homework assignments due the next day, along with tests and projects throughout the week as well.

With so much to do, students find different ways to try and control what they need to focus on. Junior Lynea Sekany started to figure out what works best for her when dealing with stress. 

“It is overwhelming to have too much to do with so little time, but keeping a schedule or even a planner helps a little,” Sekany said. “I feel I’m placed with the most pressure with my sport and also school just trying to live up to people’s expectations.”

In order to keep up with the expectations placed on students, lots of energy to remain calm and collected is required. The pressures to live up to be a well-rounded or “ideal” person can also allow students to look at life through a different lens. Senior Andy Bowles recently discovered this while leading the Antioch Sequoit football team to many victories.

“Being a Sequoit has a lot behind it, especially with the near-perfect past we’ve had,” Bowles said. “I tend to block out what people think of me and focus on doing what’s best for me; however, I might take them into consideration, especially if they’re trying to help me.”

Juggling multiple different school activities can be a handful, but can lead to the most memorable moments of high school. There can also be positive effects of being under pressure to perform well or to do well academically. Junior Aiden Lennon finds ways to keep control while encountering different amounts of pressure. 

“I try my best not to get ahead of myself or get distracted when I play [football],” Lennon said. “Things such as stats, fans and friends can put a lot of pressure on a high school athlete, but honestly, it can lead to the best feeling in the world; The pressure is what really fuels me to be the person I am today.”

Teens are under enormous amounts of stress, but the subjects that are often skipped over are what the source of all the stress is and who it is from. Every person has their own experience with pressure and how they deal with it. The hardship placed on a teen can greatly impact their lives. Each person has their own necessity to succeed, so students must find what works best for them.