Rising Pressure: Students Cope with School Stress


Ria S

Freshman Britlyn Boone checks her grades in Powerschool.

Lauren McKenzie, Writer

As finals season looms, many parents pressure their students to succeed. But when is the pressure to achieve too much? Studies have shown that pressuring kids too much can lead to several consequences for young children.

When parents focus mainly on grades, they often cause high-stress levels and anxiety for their kids. However, studies have shown that teaching kids the skill of kindness helps children not only in their adult life, but also in their academic life.

 In 2016, the University of Arizona completed a clinical trial in which they asked 506 sixth-grade students what their parents valued the most in them. They found that the kids whose parents valued kindness over grades often received higher grades. The parents who put their focus on high grades and extracurricular activities were found to be taking away their children’s time to learn social skills and empathy, which could stray the child to not be a well-rounded member of society.

“Grades are really stressful for me because I need to get into a four-year college,” said Esabela Gutierrez, a freshman at Vista del Lago High School. “Everyone feels pressured by their parents to get good grades. Parents tell us we need to get a C or higher to get into a good college, and it terrifies you. It makes you overwork yourself to do good on homework and tests.”

Many students attending Vista are also feeling the pressure trying to live up to their parents’ expectations. As high school students, many adults believe that right now in life the only thing that  matters is grades. This can cause students to feel bad when they receive a grade lower than an 85% on an assignment. 

“I feel pressure from my parents every single day to get good grades and to be a good kid,” said Vista freshman Maddy Meyer.

As the school year is coming to an end and finals are coming up, many students are feeling the pressure to pass their classes. “Advice I would give to students when they feel overwhelmed with school work or the grade pressure is to take a deep breath and take a step back,” said Gutierrez. “Sometimes I take a break and scroll through TikTok and then revisit my assignment once I am calmed down.”