Anxiety and Its Strain on the Human Mind


This is the amount of homework from one class in one night due the next day.

Malieka Khan, Photojournalist

Anxiety is a major issue among students and always has been over the years with more and more stress added onto the shoulders of these teenagers. But how much of it is helpful motivation and time management, and how much of it is truly just damaging? Within the first few weeks of school alone, several students at our very own Yorba Linda High School have not only complained, but have seriously been affected by the amounts of stress and expectations that their teachers have been setting on them, and though the teachers reasoning may be valid, mental health and genuine relaxation are key elements in continuing those high expectations set for these students.

One major way anxiety can manifest itself and warn a person is through something called a panic attack. This is when after hours of stress and work or even procrastination a person’s body has, ” …sudden attacks of anxiety and overwhelming fear that last for several minutes, “according to the National Institute of Mental Health, with no signs of stopping anytime soon. As a person who can occasionally experience these outbursts from time to time, I can genuinely say that not only do they not help my daily tasks and efficiency, but they severely diminish any chance of productivity I had left. The feeling of a panic attack is similar to this: I would start to think about the work I had to do still through the day and start to realize that not only was there no time in the day for it, but that I no longer even wanted to try to and slowly by slowly my throat would close up and I would lose interest in whatever  activity I had to still complete. Not only that, but I would eventually start to get these urges of fear and sadness like no matter how hard I try or what I do there was no helping me. Now how would that help my productivity at all? It does not, in fact it, “…is the one thing that can hold someone back from doing their best,” Justin Lopez (10).

I do understand the side of the teachers however, where they argue if no work was given outside of school with no consequences to not doing them then they would not be done. This is quite true, yet I believe there is a misunderstanding between the students and the teachers on the subject of school and it’s stresses. Most students understand the necessity of homework and practice and all that come along with it, the amount is the issue. One day after eight hours of homework, I still had an audition to practice for, flash cards to make, a test to study for, a seven page review packet still incomplete, and and entire dance to revise and learn before the next day.

Yes, procrastination is a problem and a habit that deserves to be broken, however sometimes people fail to realize that it truly is the work load not the students who need to be altered. There is a saying that goes, “there are 24 hours in a day,” and true fair enough, however with the amount of work given to students even 24 hours is not enough anymore and I can prove it. Say the day starts when a person would wake up, like 5:30 am. Why so early? Because she has a zero period to get to on time less than an hour and a half later, but well she chose to take that class so agreed she must have known what she signed up for. Nonetheless, that takes about 2 hours out of her day, so now down to 22 hours. What will she spend the next six hours of her life doing? School, work, and studying for tests with only about an hour of a break within those six hours. Down to 16 hours. Next, say she is in sports or extracurricular activities. Take out two hours for that and there are 14 hours. So around this time it would be 6:00 pm and she has just gotten home from a 12 hour school day, what does she do? Take a shower and start homework, but I shall come back to that. From here she then eats dinner, takes a shower, and gets a good night’s rest that all teachers recommend, correct? Well take out about seven hours for sleep, one hour for dinner, and about another hour for a shower and the time it takes her to get ready for bed. That leaves five hours. Five hours for each class’s homework, that give about an hour and a half per class. But not only that, these teachers who supply the homework are telling her that she should rest and take it easy, but to not slack and make sure to be serious about her work. Now add the symptoms of a panic attack or anxiety or the everyday stresses of the world and see how well that helps with her 24 hour day and overall mental health.

Time management can only help to a certain extent when all these stresses and expectations are being put on students. Slowly by slowly compromises need to be made or else several mental issues will catch up with these students which is truly a much more dangerous situation.