Schools are the key to a better future, but they can also destroy your mental health. Stress is a big part of school and unlike adults, who can communicate about how stress impacts their lives, children and teens may not recognize or even have the words to describe how they’re feeling.
Stress can be really devastating and cause many mental health problems. For example Irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches, insomnia, high blood pressure, weak immune system. According to Healthline.com the average high school teacher assigns 3.5 hours of homework per week. The typical high school student takes seven classes, so that means that they receive 24.5 hours of homework weekly. This means that they don’t have much time to spend on extracurricular activities, or hanging out with friends or family because they are so preoccupied. With such little time available to high school students, it’s no wonder why a majority deal with stress. Something needs to change because this is very unhealthy.
“A little stress is a good thing,” Alvord says. “It can motivate students to be organized.” However, too much stress can backfire and cause unwanted problems and side effects. In the past year finals and midterms accounted as the top source of stress for 31% of U.S. students. Class and workload were third at 23%. Homework placed fourth at 13%. 36.5% of U.S. college students pointed to stress as the biggest reason why their academic performance suffered negatively for the past 12 months. The amount of stress coming from school shouldn’t be brought up as a norm. Parents and teachers should start taking action immediately.
It’s not too late to focus on students’ mental health to improve stress to save future generations. We can change to be more like the Finland schools. They have been ranked as one of the happiest and most successful school systems in the world. Overall, students in Finland do better academically because teachers get more academic preparation as well as having more experience when comparing to other countries, such as the United States. Students in Finland usually start school anywhere from 9:00 – 9:45 AM. Research has shown that early start times are detrimental to students’ well-being, health, and maturation. They have longer class periods and much longer breaks in between. The breaks in between let students have that free time they need, to escape school. There is no standardized testing, the environment is very relaxed, and there is less homework. Just like the finland schools eliminated a few factors that are the main links to stress can make schools in the US become less stressful and just a better place one step at a time.