The American College Health Administration says that more than 63 percent of students will experience anxiety either before or while they are in college. This overwhelming statistic is daunting, especially when doing the math and realizing that you have an above average chance of suffering from anxiety in at least the next 8 years. Unfortunately, EC is not immune to this nationwide issue, and there are a multitude of students at the school that suffer from the epidemic of anxiety.
This anxiety can be brought on by a number of factors but, per a random poll by some EC students, the root cause can be attributed to high expectations from themselves and others.
Students at EC place a lot of stress on themselves simply by trying to be the best that they can be.
There have been meetings in the past with Student Senate to try and combat things like overscheduling in the past, but ultimately students’ expectations of themselves will sometimes outweigh what sometimes seems to be healthy. Senior Josh Lee says, “I am not able to get a lot of sleep because I’m part of a lot of honors classes and extracurricular activities, and it gets overwhelming sometimes trying to do everything. I think sometimes people that don’t do a lot of activities sometimes feel underachieving.” Senior Danny Bautista also says, “Classes can become very overwhelming really quickly especially if you’re doing extra curricular stuff or taking honors classes.”
Student Assistance Counselor Mrs. Visser agrees that students do place an extreme amount of expectations on themselves. She says, “We all need that downtime and need rest to have that time where school stuff doesn’t have to be in the back of their mind all of the time, and have your brain time to not have to think for awhile. And as far as homework, I don’t think it’s difficult but the volume is overwhelming sometimes.”
The large amount of homework is possibly due to the scarcity of honors courses at EC, which raise the average homework and expected commitment from all standard classes and electives.
In addition to school, there is a belief that social expectations can lead to anxiety of students. Danny puts it like, “Society’s expectations are so high and we feel the constant pressure to succeed. A lot of people measure themselves on how successful they are in school, a sport or how popular they are and those pressures constantly way down on you and it takes a toll on you mentally.” Josh also adds, “Schoolwork and all of these classes and grades cause it but I don’t think it’s specifically EC it’s just the education system as a whole and pressure on this generation.”
"Society’s expectations are so high and we feel the constant pressure to succeed."
Because of all of these causes of anxiety, students and administrators have gone with different approaches to combating it. Josh talks about different approaches like, “Some people see therapists and I think it works. I think that just talking to friends and to people who will listen helps and you can’t really keep it bottled up. I use music to distract myself or get into the vibes to help and define me and stop from getting overwhelmed.” Danny describes his way to try and prevent it by, “I have been going to counseling to learn where the roots of my anxiety are coming from and also learn how to deal with using different breathes techniques and other tactics.”
However, Mrs. Visser describes some options that the school offers for students. She says, “There are people always available to talk to, it's not something new but teachers are all genuinely concerned about kids and that provides kids an opportunity to talk. There have been smaller things like stress buster stations after finals and a few SOARS and I know Mr. I have been surveying this.”
Though there are lots of ways anxiety can be seen in EC and around the country, students have been working to combat this and administrators have tried to keep EC away from the epidemic. Mrs. Visser puts it like, “I think a lot of it starts back, some kids learn anxiety from the adults in their lives and it can be learned. Sometimes I think limiting homework could help, I think homework causes a lot of stress, I think kids having time screen free and stress free would help, and students having at least one person they trust that they can talk to.”