Battling stress

A closer look at stress’ effects on the body.


Savannah Drnec

Sophomore Sam Chen diligently focuses on his schoolwork while dealing with stress. Students who are involved in activities and difficult classes are put through this same stress every day

Isaiah Salin, Staff reporter

On a typical school night, Sam Chen gets home from tennis or Quiz Bowl exhausted and goes straight to doing homework, which then can take the rest of his night.Every high school student experiences stress in school, at work or even at home .

For those who get frequently stressed, the wear and tear can get to them, and affect their bodies.Whether they notice it or not, stress can affect memory, sleep, and even heart function.

For sophomore Chen, the effects of stress have a greater magnitude because he is currently taking five college level (AP) classes and participates in Quiz Bowl, Tennis and Speech and Debate.

“Usually [I have] around a half hour to three hours of homework [every night],” Chen explained.

With his heavy workload comes a lot of stress and little to no free time to focus on anything aside from school and activities.

According to a study by Harvard Medical Experts, students need 8-10 hours of sleep each night, which about only 16% of students actually get.  

“I get really tired and get minimal sleep on nights when I have homework and activities, and it affects my [quality of ] schoolwork the next day,” Chen said.

With sleep deprivation comes other issues that can change your body temporarily and permanently.

As researched by the NICHD (the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development), sleep deprivation can lead to poor motor control, memory loss, and depression. Extended sleep deprivation can also be extremely dangerous to the brain, causing long term memory loss and could cause poor driving, worse even than intoxicated driving.

“Some days I also will get a headache when I’m stressed out, it depends on the amount of work,” Chen elaborated.

A stress headache, also known as a tension headache, happens with extreme amounts of stress. Stress headaches can then lead to a greater headache: a migraine.

For fellow sophomore Jason Gough, the same amount of stress is put upon him by his workload and activities. Being in multiple AP courses as well as cross country and track can become quite the workload.

“I also work at P’Sghetti’s from five to nine, so I tend to have a lot of homework and get to bed late,”Gough said.

Multiple hours of homework, sports and a job can put a lot of stress on someone, resulting in some of the same symptoms Chen faced.

“Sometimes I’ll have a day where I just get a stomach ache before a test or something… it does affect the way that I then take the test,” Gough said.

A stomach ache is another common symptom of stress, which can then change the mindset going into a test. A stomach ache caused by stress is actually proven by NICHD to be the brain’s reaction to too much input coming in, therefore causing anxiety.

For freshman Drew Black, stress really hasn’t set in too much, but he still feels the wear and tear of homework everyday and frequent studying.

“I’m in all regular classes, so I don’t have much homework, but I still feel stressed out… everyday. For me, I only get stressed before a test or large assignment,” Black explained.

For even students in only regular classes, stress is prevalent, and can affect their bodies.

“I get really weird when stressed… I change moods and find myself getting angry easier,” Black said.

Frequent mood swings are another effect of stress, and affect peers rather than their own body.  

“I mean [everyone] deals with stress, but everyone feels it differently and reacts differently,” Chen finished.Everyone feels stress in some sort of way, no matter their curricular difficulties, their activities/sports, or a job.

Stress is something everyone has to deal with, and everyone needs to find an escape from stress. A simple way to avoid stress is to drink less caffeine, or even just go to bed a little earlier.