What Are Some Major Stress Factors in a Teenager’s Life in School?
Almost every teenager experiences some levels of stress at school. The question is, what causes stress in school for these teenagers? If we know about the major stress factors in school, we can identify strategies to manage it. This is important for two reasons. First, if teenagers fail to manage stress, it may turn into depression. Second, unmanaged stress prevents teenagers from performing their best. So, adults have the responsibility of helping teenagers to manage stress. In this article, we identify and discuss some of the major stress factors in school.
- Exam and upcoming tests
Exams and upcoming tests are major stress factors for teens in school. They put teenagers under pressure. The concerns include; first, fear of not being prepared enough. Second, fearing that the exam or test will be difficult. Third, fear of disappointing teachers and parents. All these concerns put teenagers under pressure. When the stress is not managed, it leads to anxiety, low self-esteem, and depression.
- Poor performance
Mark is in junior high school. When he received his report card, he was shocked. He had performed poorly. His mother said she had never seen him that shocked. He did not want to talk to anyone. Even though he had outperformed some students, he still felt sad. It took the intervention of parents and teachers to help Mark feel more relaxed. Mark’s case is a good example of how poor performance stresses teens in school.
- Advanced courses
Research shows that advanced courses can lead to stress among some students. Last year Jennie was taking all advanced courses. She started complaining of headaches. When asked about it, she said schoolwork was stressing her out. “I felt that the work was too much. I didn’t know if I could complete my assignments. Either, I also felt like I wasn’t up for the tasks.” She said. She was so stressed to an extent of affecting her family. The parents told her to drop one course. After a short while, Jennie was okay. There were no more headaches. She says pressure reduced enabling her to perform even better.
Bullying is a major stress factor for teens in school. Several things can suggest that your teen is being bullied.
- Firstly, if your teenager is reluctant to go to school, there is a problem. If this behavior occurs several times, talk to the teen, and know what the problem is.
- Secondly, many complaints about stomachaches and headaches. These illnesses can be faked easily. Teens can use them as excuses to stay from school.
- Thirdly, trouble sleeping can be a sign of bullying. Troubled sleep can be caused by anxiety and nervousness. For example, a teen may be anxious about what the bullies will say or do tomorrow. How do you know if your teen has trouble sleeping? Check their energy levels in the morning. Do they look exhausted?
- Fourthly, physical marks and missing clothes. Physical marks such as bruises may a sign of bullying. Also, if your teen reports missing school uniforms, bullies may have stolen them. Fifth, withdrawing. If your teen doesn’t want to interact with others, then something is wrong.
- Fifthly, loss of friends or having new friends could be a sign of bullying. Parents and caregivers have to cautious of these signs. If you identify any of the signs, talk to your child. Get to know if there something wrong going on.
Sometimes students have a lot to work on. For example, they may have a lot of homework and class assignments. This can be frustrating especially if the assignments are difficult. This is because assignments help teenagers understand class content. They also contribute to final grades. But students should have a manageable workload to avoid excessive stress.
- Peer pressure
Teenagers make friends in school. Sometimes it can be difficult to make any friends. Because they want to fit in, they feel pressured to make friends. This includes doing things that they don’t like.
- Fear of failure
Teenagers have to start thinking about the future. They have to choose the right career path and other things. This makes them unsure of the future. They don’t know whether they will succeed or fail. This builds pressure that leads to stress.
How To Help Teenagers Cope With Stress
Parents or caregivers can help teenagers cope with stress in various ways.
- Firstly, make time for your teenager. Spend even more time with them if you suspect they are stressed. Engage in fun activities. You can also just talk. Let them open up about their worries. This will help them feel more relaxed.
- Secondly, let your teen know that stress is normal in life. Tell them that everyone experiences some level of stress in life. What is important is to know various ways of coping with it.
- Thirdly, engage your teenager in physical activities. Keeping them active helps in relieving stress.
- Fourthly, ensure that they take a balanced diet. This will give them the energy they need to deal with school pressure.
- Fifthly, ensure they get enough sleep. Let them go to bed early. Breathing exercises before bed can help them have quality sleep.
- Lastly, minimize distractions that can keep them awake. For example, switch off the TV and their phones as they go to sleep. Alternatively, you may seek professional help to ensure that your kid is stress-free.