Coping with stress

Emotionally tense living situations as a result of quarantine has led students to reflect on ways to process their emotions.

Students+use+calendars+to+organize+their+daily+duties+to+avoid+feeling+overwhelmed.

Saihaj Cheema

Students use calendars to organize their daily duties to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Stress is at an all time high.  Students have always been put under intense levels of pressure, which can be beneficial in some instances. Now more than ever, however, they’re being forced to cope with the effects of continuous stress.

According to John Thomas, a health teacher at Granite Bay High School, stress can have positive impacts on a person if one thinks about stress as helpful. In fact, it can help a person work more determinedly and efficiently. 

Although this has proven to be truthful, it has still been a struggle for Thomas and several other teachers to cope with the difficulties of online learning. 

“Teachers feed off of response, and now that we don’t get that…it’s unsettling,” Thomas said. “I feel as if we can only control what the students are doing to a certain extent.”

He is a teacher who used to make copies for worksheets and made sure the students didn’t use their phones in class. All of the sudden, he had to switch to specifically online teaching, where he has been forced to blindly trust his students. 

Along with the teachers, anxiety and stress is something that almost everyone experiences in their lives.  Especially now, as people are stuck in their homes in the midst of COVID. 

Nobody fathomed that quarantine would last half a year or possibly longer. Students, teachers and parents have been affected emotionally and mentally from this pandemic.

When asked about her  stress levels during quarantine, Natalie Okon, a freshman at Granite Bay High School, describes her situation at home and the effect of not being able to socialize with others.  

 She has seen a dramatic stress increase since the beginning of quarantine.  

“I feel like I have created a hostile environment around myself in my own home,” Okon said, reflecting on her inability to socialize with peers as often. “I have stopped depending on socialization, because in these situations…you can’t.”

I have stopped depending on socialization, because in these situations…you can’t.”

— Natalie Okon

While others struggle with expressing themselves properly, Okon lets out her emotions through music.  With circumstances like these, she believes that having an outlet to release emotional stress is crucial. 

However, some students don’t have time to find an outlet because of how preoccupied they are with school work, especially those who dedicate a lot of time to tough classes and clubs. 

A perfect example of this  scenario is GBHS junior, Christopher Tan. He is an extremely motivated student who balances all AP classes and 11 clubs. 

Tan is someone who is amazing at handling his daily work. He stays very organized as he has his whole life planned out on his lists. 

Another way he deals with his stress is by socializing with his friends. He also believes that reaching out to teachers is very important in times like these.

“I think many students are thinking about how life has gotten harder…like a whole existential crisis is taking place, and I haven’t even graduated yet,” Tan said. Although he deals with his stress remarkably, some of his friends have seemed to struggle. 

Across people of all grades and levels of social dependency, it proves to be most beneficial to look at stress as a challenge to surpass, not a setback that can’t be passed.

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