The Overload of Test Season

The+Overload+of+Test+Season

Maddy Gleason , Features Editor

These days, it’s difficult to find a teenager that isn’t feeling stressed out, but it’s even harder during the springtime. For many people, the spring brings happy times, like easter and warm sunny days. But for students in high school, stress levels are boosted to the moon with all the tests, sports, and anticipations for summer.

In society, teens are often portrayed as carefree and fun loving rule-breakers, but in fact, they experience many of the same stressors that adults have to deal with everyday. In high school, there are countless factors that lead to teen stress.

Jr. Adelaide Birgenheier is involved in mostly higher level classes and is concerned about the impacts of testing in classes can have on students.

“While I understand the need to gauge where students are at in their understanding and move through units, we test so much that understanding becomes memorization. It is a constant battle between studying and sleeping which in turn causes more stress,” said Birgenheier.

The whole thought of high school is stressful for many, and other factors contribute to that mounting stress, like finding a summer job, passing classes with acceptable grades, and moving towards getting into the right college.

Counselor Deb Medenwaldt thinks that many factors contribute to student stress, but luckily there are solutions.

“It’s hard to balance your outside activities, your class and academic expectations, and then ‘bonus assignments’ like standardized testing, letters of recommendation, and college essay, but for the most part I find that students are really well prepared, and luckily their teachers are really flexible,” said Medenwaldt.

It’s not just students who get stressed, either. Teachers are pressured to keep grades updated, prepare final exams, and help students succeed simultaneously.

Assistant principal Darren Tarshis is in charge of many school wide activities, and experiences strain in the spring.

“April and May are very busy times of year. This is the time of year teacher evaluations are completed, and administrators are in charge of testing, and we want to make sure that’s all organized and planned,” said Tarshis.

Fortunately, there are some solutions, which of course do not completely eliminate stress, but can definitely help to dilute the stress levels in students and teachers. The way to deal with stress varies by person.

When dealing with any form of stress, I personally turn to exercise. It helps turn my mind off of the academic pressure I am feeling and releases tension or frustration so it doesn’t build up,” said Birgenheier.

Students also have outlets which they can resort to. They often have activities, friends, or trusted adults they can talk to.

It’s beneficial to the students as well to have such a supportive counseling team who they can turn to.

“The whole counseling team talks to them about how important it is to balance outside life, school life, and personal life so it all works together,” said Medenwaldt.

“I think it’s different for everybody. Some people hang out with friends, some people go on a run by themself, maybe listen to music or play the guitar, you know, it’s different for everybody. Part of being a highschooler is figuring out what you need, how to take care of yourself,” said Tarshis.  

Overall, the springtime can be extremely stressful for everybody, but unfortunately it’s unavoidable. College applications are a must, it’s not an option to opt out of AP or final tests, and people need summer jobs to be able to pay for gas and save up for their college fund. Although there are outlets, we can never truly escape the stress.