Finding stress where you least expect it


photo by Jada Llamido

Senior Abby Maxwell does a lot of activities, among them are cheer and athletic training. While things like these are supposed to be fun, it can often be difficult to juggle the stress of them all.

When junior Isabella Simonetti returned to school, she expected to be stressed about anatomy and physiology. She did not expect the stress would come from worrying about the people around her. 

“I did not think I would stress that much about what other people were going through,” Simonetti said.

The struggles of surrounding peers and loved ones can be unexpectedly stressful.

More specifically, concern about what a friend is going through and what others think are a primary cause of anxiety for students in all grade levels. Often, stresses like these are impossible to see coming.

“It is like something happening with my family… I stress about what they are going through rather than what is going on in my own life,” Simonetti said.

Freshman Celine Merlin stresses about her actions looking good to others and being successful in the future, which are typical stresses for any high school student. 

“All I want to do is get better,” Merlin said. “I want to prove to myself and others that I am good, [and] that puts a lot of stress on me to push myself.”

When people are disappointed or upset, it can be hard to deal with, but when peers try to help, it can add to the stress. For sophomore Kailyn Davids, too much encouragement for things like grades and running can have the opposite of the intended effect.

“Some of the things people do [and] say make me want to do better which makes me stressed even though they are trying to help,” Davids said. 

Just like influences from other people, reflecting on past decisions can cause emotional difficulties. Stress can come from thinking about stuff that was done, but it can come just as much from what was not done. This was the case for senior Kaitlyn Malantonio who moved from Sebring, Florida her junior year of high school. When Malantonio moved she felt like she did not have enough time to participate in school activities, clubs and sports since she was almost done with high school. 

“It is my last year, so now it stresses me out that I haven’t done as much as I wish I had in past years,” Malantonio said. “I felt like I ran out of time because I had to unexpectedly move to a new school in less than a month.” 

Remembering the past or contemplating missed opportunities may not seem particularly stressful, but in reality, they are the cause of many sleepless nights. 

Kailyn Davids left band after her freshman year to focus more on other things like running and her grades. Now, when looking back at this choice, she regrets it and feels like she could have managed her running and grades while still doing band. 

“I know I left [band] for a good reason but I still miss it a lot and sometimes I do not know if it was the right decision,” Davids said.

Even activities like sports can cause unanticipated stress. With more time and effort being put into some sports, students begin to feel the need to try even harder to reach certain goals. 

“[The] main thing that stresses me out that I did not think would is running,” Merlin said. “I always have something to prove so I push myself hard.” 

Despite causing stress for some people, sports can also be one of the many things students use to deal with their stress. Spending time exercising can help provide a distraction and ease the mind due to the “feel-good“ endorphins released. 

“I play soccer to get away from the stress,” Simonetti said. “I am not as stressed about sports as I am [with] school and family.” 

Finding ways to deal with stress, whether it be expected or unexpected, can be very helpful. Scrolling through your phone, playing sports, hanging out with friends and even reading books can all be useful when trying to relax and calm down. 

“I read a lot, it just puts me in an alternate world where I don’t have to be here,” Malantonio said. 

Along with knowing certain things will be stressful, students should always expect the unexpected when it comes to stress. Whether from sports, people or past decisions, the small moments can have a major impact on students’ lives. Accepting that all things have the potential to be stressful, no matter what they are, can help deal with it in advance.