Mid-Year Stressor


Senior stress statistics.

As we approach the middle of the school year, the pressure for the students of our graduating class keeps increasing in many different ways. “The most stressful thing for me heading into the middle of the school year is waiting to hear back from colleges about whether I’ve been accepted or not,” said senior Dante Victorella. While early action students should be hearing back from colleges within the next month, the anxiety of waking up everyday to see whether a college has accepted or denied you creates a unique stress that underclassmen don’t have to deal with. The dread of rejection grows everyday when a response isn’t given, especially when it comes to students’ “dream schools”. And for students who applied via regular decision, they have to wait even longer. Even after hearing back from colleges, then students are faced with the process of receiving scholarships to help pay for their education, which is another complicated matter. However, college is only one stressor for our seniors. Fear in general is a huge factor for the high school senior, specifically of rejection, leaving home, decision, finance, ability, and the unknown, according to College Parent Central. 

“My biggest stressor during the middle of the school year is the academic workload. The third marking period is always really difficult and I’m usually burnt out by the end of it,” said senior Josiah Kemp. This goes into another stressor that gets uniquely more challenging as a senior. After seven semesters of high-school, many students feel burned out and tired of completing school work. Compounded by the fact that midyear grades for seniors are sent to colleges, there’s even more pressure to keep academics up while dealing with burn-out from over three years of hard work. To avoid burn-out and stress, Study.com recommends micro and macro breaks as needed from work. The responsibility for keeping grades high are compounded by another factor: extracurriculars.

“…more than anything else, I am stressed about extracurriculars. For the some clubs I run we have to pick out new leaders, teach new tricks, back new ideas, etc,” said Raina Shroff, who as a part of one of her clubs helps organize, build and run our schools theater productions. With theater productions taking months of behind the scene work, building, practices and run-throughs, it becomes hard to balance those hours on top of devoting as much time as needed for classes and for studying. To manage stress, the Mayo Clinic recommends staying active and healthy, connecting with others, making sure you are getting enough sleep, meditation, and journaling. There are also good mental health resources at school if needed. 

Lastly, with many of us needing to either pay for college or go into the real world, the need for financial independence is starting to creep over us. With a lot of students getting part-time jobs, even more stress is put on us. As described in another Lamp article “Getting A Job As A Teenager In Hunterdon County” from February 1st, 2022, “A job can be another responsibility for an already stressed student.”

With many of us pursuing higher education or trade school, the need to keep grades up while balancing clubs and college acceptances feels a near impossible task. However, with only one semester of school left, and no standardized testing awaiting us at the end of this year, the best most of us can do is understand that we are all in this together, and there’s not much more left to push through. The University of South Florida points out two main things to remember as a stressed highschool senior: “You’re not the only one and you’re going to be okay.”