Stress Becomes Trendy at Miramonte

The general perception of students at Miramonte is that if you aren’t stressed, you’re doing something wrong.

It has become a competition among students to be the most stressed and to boast the heaviest workload. Although they don’t generally enjoy the stress, many students feel that their self-worth is tied to their academic achievements. Students argue over who spends the most time studying and who gets the least amount of sleep. Others make it a point to casually mention how many extracurriculars they are involved in and how many AP classes they are taking.

“We AP Chem students spend probably half our time arguing about who slept the least last night, but really, I got a full eight hours,” sophomore Madeline Becker said.

But what is the point of all this? What are we really arguing and bragging about: who is the unhappiest?

High school should not just be a stepping-stone to Ivy League colleges. We put too much pressure on each other and ourselves, and don’t spend enough time recognizing our own limits.

This pressure affects freshman because the environment is vastly more demanding than middle school. “Before I came to Miramonte, my friends and I never talked about stress,” freshman Natalie Adey said. “Since freshman year started, it’s become a daily topic.”

“I think that high school should be something you enjoy, not endure, but other students’ rivalry over academics and extracurriculars only adds more stress,” freshman Eleanor Roeder said.

This attitude leads to feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction with what should be regarded as an admirable achievement. Test scores should be measured against your own capabilities, not those of your peers.

“I feel like I am constantly under an academic microscope. Everyone has to know everyone else’s test scores,” junior Maddie O’Shea said. “Collaboration often just leads to competition, and that attitude just exasperates the problem.”

All of this stress is leading to health problems and anxiety, causing students to find harmful ways to relieve their stress, such as drugs and alcohol.

It is evident that stress has become so ingrained in the Miramonte student body that it is a now a source of pride and reassurance for students. Stress has become part of Miramonte culture.

Next time you want to brag about your all-night study session or the millions of things you have to do before tomorrow, consider that everyone else feels stressed too and that you’re only making it worse by promoting it.