Is Stress Good?

Examining the role that stress plays in our lives.

According to the stress survey posted on the school’s website,  64% of Vista students believe that stress is hindering their ability to  learn.

Why? Competition is everywhere – competing with siblings, competing with peers, competing with friends. Whether it’s extra-curriculars, sports, work or school, nearly all students have struggled with the stress that comes from the competitive nature of our society, as well as the pressure to compete that we put on ourselves.

But where does this need for competition come from?

55% of the Vistians who took the survey were enrolled in honors and AP classes, which can be stressful due to the increased workload. With an extreme workload comes sleep deprivation and numerous hours of homework. However, 81% of students maintained a positive or neutral opinion towards Vista del Lago as a whole.

So, if students are not blaming teachers, the classes or the workload, then what’s with the stress?

67% of students claimed that “A High GPA is important to me.” Not “important to my parents,” “important to my friends,” but “Important to ME.” Additionally, 66% of students participated in sports and 72% participated in extracurricular activities, all by choice.

There are many reasons why students believe that they must achieve flawless grades, participate in every club, and/or play varsity sports, but the main reason is typically to fluff up those college applications.

It’s important to realize that there is a line between stress that is positive and motivational and the polar opposite–the stress that is seemingly life-ruining.

In the advisory lesson in January, students learned that stress, when managed and recognized, is beneficial. Stress can drive people to produce their best work; on the other hand, it can be  counter-productive if it is not recognized for what it is and handled properly.

The lesson primarily focused on the importance of evaluating feelings of stress, decisions made that affect stress levels, and how time is managed. It’s important to be organized, do one thing at a time, and still find the time to do those enjoyable things that bring happiness.

It’s a difficult concept, to believe that stress can actually help in life, but it’s important to realize that stress does not end after high school. It does, believe it or not, get harder with time. That is why it is so crucial to understand personal limitations now.

To those who think that getting into the perfect UC is the only answer to happiness and are stressing to the point where it is impossible to be happy, then reevaluate.

Everyone’s limitations are different, but if you recognize there is stress at work in your life, harness it so that it works to your advantage. Let it be your motivator, not your roadblock.