Stressed Out: Class of 2020 Edition

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Ana-Maria Boboc

Is it even possible not to be stressed out?

Junior year is said to be the most stressful of the four spent at high school. Real life is slowly edging closer to changing from fantasy to reality. It’s not like the first 18 years were some sort of “free trial”, it’s just that the real stress comes after school.

“I think it’s just trying to study for the SAT and the ACT and how much pressure our teachers are putting into it [that is stressful],” said junior Hazel Pavon.

Teachers spend whole class periods talking about the most important tests of your high school career. It’s a measure of memory and, sometimes, the understanding of topic, but it adds hours of stress on everyone’s plates. The ACT and SAT scores are meant to be sent to the colleges you want to go to, so there’s added weight on your shoulders.

If you mess up those two tests,  you may as well say Goodbye! to your college dreams. It’s not just some meaningless multiple choice test that you can drop once you walk out of the room, it’s a major part of your future, especially if you want part of it to be spent in college. These tests are no walk in to park, either.

Junior Eric Ye said, “Getting ready to go to college and like getting ready to move out and — like trying to find a college that’ll accept me and stuff is stressful.”

For most students, college is a looming entity of anxiety and “what ifs” as they try to figure out if they are good enough to continue with schooling or, even, if they can afford future schooling. With college tuition increasing and scholarships seeming to be reserved solely for child geniuses, it’s nearly impossible not to be stressed about how to handle it.

Don’t even get started on the highly recognized schools with acceptance rates that are lower than 35% because they seem to be light-years away from the realm of possibility to be able to go to.

College, however, is not the only thing to worry about.

“I don’t really know what I want to do in the future, so that’s what I’m most stressed about,” Junior Jhonatan Martinez Barrios said.

How can one plan a life in college if they don’t know what they want to do? How does one even figure out what they want to do, especially in this day and age? How is one meant to survive in this economy?

With standardized tests, moving out, and planning your future, it’s hard to imagine that juniors have anytime for themselves. Destressing is a very important part of getting through the day, though, and everyone has their own method of doing so.

Ye said, “How I de-stress is like I take some time — like I stop what I’m doing, and I just take some time to just do what I like for maybe like an hour or maybe thirty minutes, so I can like take my mind off school or whatever is stressing me out.”

Even if it’s a small break, a breather is perfect to get yourself back on track without adding more anxiety into the mix.

Similarly, Pavon said, “I usually listen to music and take some time to myself to de-stress.”

Both are taking care of themselves by thinking about themselves. 

On the other hand, Barrios said, “I mean, honestly, I don’t worry about it because you could honestly die right now. Why worry about the future when you could die right now?”

He’s not wrong, but it’s the darker reality of life. It’s a controversial move because, yes, you won’t be stressed if you don’t worry, but you could end up setting yourself up for disaster. Either way, it’s on him. Everyone unwinds in their own manner.

There’s a little over one semester left before junior year is over. Certain stresses can, then, be lifted from your shoulders forever, but entirely new ones are added as college and real life approaches. In the end, who really ever lives a stress-free life?