Stress at School | Carley Rogers | [email protected]


Translator: Yasmina Casado González
Reviewer: Denise RQ There are many days I hear my alarm
waking me up for school, and I dread getting out of bed. I have more than I need. I’m fed every day, I live
in a wonderful house in a beautiful city, and I attend a good school,
yet I still don’t want to go. It is so easy to find
the negatives in school. Things like stress
and lack of interest in my classes are just some of the negatives
that overpower the good. Yet, at the perspective of another, their opinion
would be completely different. Imagine a 14-year-old girl
living in an African country: her name is Adisa, and she is part of a family of six
living in a one-room house. She would give anything
to have the opportunity to learn, but her family can’t afford it. To her, school would not be
the terrible monster that I see. She would find the positives. She would see school as a way to make new friends
and learn about the world around her. Thinking about Adisa and others
in her situation made me feel very guilty. Here I am, complaining about my life
when I have everything I need and more. What she would only dream of
living a life like mine? I’ve been told to be successful in life
I have to succeed in school. I’ve been told to get into a good college
I have to make good grades and participate in
as many school activities as possible. The way I see it, putting
that much pressure on yourself to make good grades
and participate in every school activity is not the best high school experience. For me, this just adds
to the pressure and anxiety making it more difficult to learn. I struggle with stress and the pressure of having
the best grades is always present. I was thinking about
what the number 4.0 actually means to me, and I stumbled to answer. What does it mean? It has to mean something if I’m putting
myself through so much to get it. I am one who strives to do my best, and the pressure and anxiety
is making me question why. Why am I putting
so much pressure on myself that I struggle to go to school? Stress about the workload pressure
on making good grades? It’s a lot. Even for me who has never found school
to be very difficult. I don’t find myself struggling very often, but that doesn’t make it any easier;
if anything, it makes it more difficult. Many don’t see how that could be the case. I’ve had several conversations where someone will say
something along the lines of, “if you are so good at school,
why don’t you like it?” This question and the many
different variations I’ve heard continue to confuse me. How does working hard
to perform well at school take away the stress or dislike? I know from personal experience:
it just adds to the stress and dislike. I put myself through this
so I’ll have more opportunities to live a successful life,
and I’m trying to understand why. When I hear my alarm waking me up
for school, I get ready for an entire day. I’m walking into day
for those seven hours of learning. Yikes. Seven hours of boredom,
frustration, and judgment. I’ve many classes that take so much energy
to keep from falling sleep. People that feel
that, because it’s a group project, they don’t have to do any of the work. Presentations that make me
shake with nervousness. Peers that feel the need to make others
feel bad about themselves. Add all this to the stress, and you’re looking
at the definition of misery. I look at school
and see a bubble of negativity, yet, at the perspective of another, their opinion
will be completely different. Adisa would go to school
and be over the moon excited. She would want to experience
all the different classes and subjects. She wouldn’t be so focused on the grades, because she’ll be so much more interested
in the actual learning. She would try her best to succeed and only see the stress
as a small side effect of school. I try to have
this perspective about school, especially because I’m
so incredible lucky to have all that I do. But it is a constant struggle. I tell myself to think about school
in the perspective of Adisa, who’d give anything to take my place. I find the positives
because that’s what she would do. She would work with the situation even if she doesn’t like
everything about it. And I feel this should be easier to do
than it actually is, but it’s not. I challenge you to think about your life from the perspective of someone
who’d give anything to take your place. Find the positives
and encourage others to do the same. Know that it’s only
a portion of your life, and it’s not the worst thing
you could be doing. I know it can be hard; trust me,
I struggle with it everyday. Just remember: don’t take anything for granted
and embrace the stuff you don’t like because there’s someone out there
who’d give anything to take your place. (Applause)

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