Stars and Stress

Emily Koke, Professional Napper

Within this past month, I’ve had many negative descriptions about my character thrown at me. In some instances, I’ve been accused of being bitter, cynical, and spend too much time aimlessly browsing the web than paying attention to people. In other instances, I’ve had some whisper that they hate me because there is nothing about me for them to hate. Perhaps those people are right. I’m generally the kind of person to blend into the woodwork and hope no attention is drawn to me. I’ve also grown up in a generation where we are constantly accused of ruining things and said to be uninterested in accomplishing anything. We have all been subjected to a highly opinionated world where you drown in the obligation to mold your personality to fall into place with someone else’s standards.  

High school is unapologetically painful. It is like running a gauntlet through negative comments and a workload large enough to push people to a breaking point. The stresses to overachieve and maintain a certain level of socialness has become crippling. The number of times I’ve heard a student complain of being tired has moved to the exponential levels and the anxiety of this group is only increasing as well. The obligation to fit into many different extracurricular activities, maintain high grades, and still be a part of a community has worn many students thin. We are being stretched over such a broad and busy schedule that it is difficult to slow down. The facets of these many expectations leave no room for things important to being young. It is difficult to take time for ourselves and mental health is neglected. We are falling into a rabbit hole of sleepless nights and stress.

As teens, we are intended to have our heads in the clouds while simultaneously having our feet on the ground. We walk among the stars but along the way we have been guided to a darker living. Students are spending too much time trying to grow up when they should be valuing the youth they have.