Special Report: Stressed out high school students

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WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) – The stress teens experience is higher than that of adults, according to a 2014 survey from the American Psychological Association.

In fact, teens reported that their stress levels during the school year far exceeded what they believe to be healthy.

We visited Winona High School to find out what’s stressing students out.

We’ve been focused for years on being vigilant against bullying in high school. But the students we talked to are trying to get it all done.

“I’m in a lot of activities,” said senior Morgan Gould.
“I’ve got like student council, and I’m actually a board member for NHS too,” said Max Hetzel, also a senior.

“Juggling like all the assignments and studying and getting everything done for school and then working at the same time,” said senior Dharma Maringer.
“I’m in soccer right now,” said senior Theo Meyer.


These students have a lot on their plates. That may not be new, but holding down a job on the side?

“I work six to close. So I work at six and then I don’t get home until after midnight. I get home [from school] at four, so that leaves me a couple of hours to do study for and do homework for five different classes. So I don’t get a lot of sleep,” said Maringer.

The young people we spoke with said the thing that can make it all okay is a teacher who understands.

“With my experience with teachers, I’ve always had caring teachers that are always willing to help me out with what I need. Same with my parents,” said Meyer.

“My teachers have been really understanding about having like more than one thing to do,” said Gould.

The fast pace of the work world seems to have filtered down to the high school world.

“It’s all self-inflicted,” said Hetzel.
“Yeah. I did this to myself,” said Gould.
“I would say, yeah, if I wasn’t this busy I would not know what to do with myself. So I’m glad I’m in all this even though it can be stressful at some times,” said Meyer. “I’m happy that I’m involved in a lot of hings at this school.”

Some students wish teachers could be a little more empathetic, and understand that it’s not always easy to balance school and work. Some older instructors who’ve been teaching for a while, they say, do understand.

“But then there’s newer teachers or younger teachers who just kind of expect that you get it done, and say ‘Oh that’s life, you gotta learn to juggle it,'” said Maringer.

The ” School of Hard Knocks” can seem overwhelming at times. It’s all a learning experience.

“The relationships you’re in in high school, whether it be friendship or an actual relationship, all it’s going to do is teach you things,” said Justice Johnson, a junior. “You’re going to learn about what you do like, what you do not like, what you love, what you hate, what you can work with and what you can do.”

Bullying didn’t seem to be the main concern for these students. They’re just trying to get through the school year and keep their grades up.

There are systems in place to penalize bullies and keep that issue under control. The school in fact has a no tolerance policy towards bullying.

Ala Errebhi

Ala Errebhi

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