Stress builds from pressure of school work

The amount of daily homework adds to the pressure students face. Photo illustration by AMY LU

At the end of the school day, some students expect to spend a couple of hours at a sports practice and the next couple of hours until bedtime at a desk covered in papers, stressing over a history test the next day. The American education system is getting more and more competitive with the students’ performance in school. Teachers and parents also factor in on strain with expectations set high. The excess schoolwork affects students significantly, both emotionally and physically.

The competition of education system has been overwhelming for students that they have found other ways of dealing with the work. Cheating is getting more prevalent according to a survey done this year. Out of 14000 students surveyed in the past four years, 61 percent have admitted to cheating. Some teenagers are taking another route instead of cheating; they’ve been pushed to the brink of substance abuse. Researches discovered that 25 percent of high school students have been abusing prescription drugs and stocking up in caffeine to get through a round of homework.

“We have eight different classes that rotate rapidly, so we never really have time to focus on one topic,” sophomore Kellie Compton said. “It’s hard to keep track on what is going on in each class.”

In the upcoming documentary “Race to Nowhere,” director Vicki Abeles reports stories about students who have suffered depression due to being drowned in schoolwork, lack of time for social activities and sports, and have experienced medical issues because of stress. The video displays stories of pupils who have resorted to suicide and self harm to cope with their difficulties. There are other students who experience unintentional medical complications such as panic attacks as well.

But the schoolwork expectations have been and might continue to increase. Essentials skills might increase or interventions stamps might completely eliminate a student’s lunch. As the school API score jumped to second best in the county, making significant gains from last year, students seem more focused on the pressure than on their success. Pressure to perform keeps growing. What will be the state of the next generations dealing with their burden?