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 School’s Affect on Mental Health

LA Johnson/NPR
Grief in the classroom.

Most people will have mixed opinions about their middle school years. Some will say it was the best years of their life, although most will probably disagree, which is a fair argument. During these years, teens may experience anxiety and depression due to academic stress. Anxiety happens when someone has a lot of stress, which can make you feel dreadful and nervous. When someone has depression, they feel empty and sad, as if the things that used to bring you so much joy disappear. Depression has a variety of causes but is also mainly from stress. For me, school can cause a lot of stress, and my self-esteem tends to lower. I feel a lot of anxiety about what others think of me most of the time. I think schools should do more to prevent student depression and anxiety. 

While in school, many students succumb to stress, and because of this stress, a student’s mental health can worsen. Stress can come from many things, including the pressure for good grades, having too much work/homework, issues with self-esteem, drama/social status, and having early starts that can affect students’ sleep. First, in the article “The Epidemic of Anxiety Among Today’s Students” by Mary Ellen Flannery. She states, “61 percent say they face a lot of pressure to get good grades. By comparison, 29 percent say they feel pressure to look good; 28 percent to fit in socially; and just 6 percent to drink alcohol.” Secondly, in “Earlier School Start Times May Increase Risk of Adolescent Depression and Anxiety, URMC Study Says Research,” research on sleep by the University of Rochester found that “Over seven days, the students were instructed to keep a sleep diary, in which they reported specifically on their daily sleep hygiene, levels of sleep quality and duration, and their depressive/anxiety symptoms.” Lastly, the research of “Academic Stress and Adolescents Mental Health: A Multilevel Structural Equation Modeling (MSEM) Study in Northwest of Iran” states, “Since adolescents have spent most of their time at schools, academic stress is considered as one of the major risk factors to their mental health. In some communities, the only task of adolescents is having excellent academic performance, so educational-related issues can severely affect their health.” By showing this information, you can see how school causes stress to students and how it affects their mental health.

Overall, the way schools are run, you can see why so many adolescents suffer from mental illnesses. Most students will probably say school is a chore, which shouldn’t be. School is one of the most essential parts of our lives. Which is why we need to find better ways to teach students. If they take it as a chore, students won’t learn.

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Malia Perez
Malia Perez, Author
My name is Malia Perez. I’m in the 8th grade. My favorite subjects include art and math. I love to paint with acrylics in my free time because I enjoy doing art and how stress-relieving it is. My favorite thing to write about is opinionated questions.

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