Ah, the beginning of the fourth quarter. We are now entering the final stretch of the school year and the most stress-inducing part of the year. The fourth quarter has it all, from IB tests to internal assessments, to SOLs and final exams.
The beginning of the fourth quarter often involves late nights and long school days (with no chances of snow days unfortunately). This time of year requires drive and determination, but for some students, it is a time of intense pressure.
It is appropriate that next week, during this intense time, we take a step back and remind ourselves of the importance of our mental and emotional health during the third annual Mental Wellness Week, April 7-11.
Throughout the week, students will have multiple opportunities to educate themselves about healthy ways to relieve stress, be safe online, and laugh more.
As a publication that has late night deadlines to stress over, we recognize the significance of the week’s message.
Mental well-being is not just an isolated issue. According to a recent USA Today article, American teenagers are feeling extreme amounts of stress and are not succeeding at managing it. On a 10 point scale, teenagers stress levels are at 5.8 during the school year. For adults, stress levels reach a maximum of 5.1.
The fourth quarter especially is stressful for students as motivation is low and we count down the days until summer. You can see the mental anguish of students in their faces as you walk through the hallway.
The concept of mental wellness must remain at the forefront of our minds even after next week’s activities conclude. The message of the entire week applies to the entire student body and school year.
Mental wellness often becomes secondary to students when academic pressures arise. While stress never vanishes completely, it is important that students not neglect their mental health nor sacrifice it in pursuit of a grade or score.
In the grand scheme of life, establishing a healthy lifestyle at this age by getting enough sleep and eating a balance diet while exhibiting a positive attitude will have a greater impact on our lives than the score we received on one assignment.
A great time to put these stress-relief tips into practice? Spring break does begin in seven days after all.