As anxiety becomes more recognized, people have wondered how we, as a society, can solve this issue. Before we can do that, we must look at how it has been increasing in recent years and the potential causes of stress and/or anxiety.
More students are becoming stressed and/or anxious about life. According to Higher Education Research, in 1985, 18% of incoming first-year college students said they felt stressed.
Since then, this has only gotten higher, with 28% of students saying this in 2000 and 41% in 2016. As we can see, it has not decreased, and it is not stopping.
What are some causes of anxiety and stress? When some students in North Side High School's senior class were surveyed recently, 60.2% said school stresses them out the most. Now, this can include a variety of things such as grades, tests, friends at school and homework. Other students said the future gives them anxiety and stresses them out as well.
Students are taking this issue into their own hands in several ways. In the North Side High School survey, 39.3% of the students said they use music to relieve their stress and/or anxiety, and another 21.8% said they use art/literature.
The problem with these choices is they can cause isolation and lead to overthinking as time goes on. These ways can cause a cycle of a student feeling bad one day, listening to music to feel better, and then feeling the same way again the next day.
Students can start having a better impact on their stressors by having a planner so they can write down what needs to be done and when something needs to be completed. This could lead to them being more organized and teach them time management skills, which are useful when it comes to work.
Students can also talk to their counselors about how they feel and how to go about doing things, such as completing projects.
Why should we care about anxiety and stress so much? If anxiety continues to be a problem, other issues can arise. As anxiety becomes severe, physical problems such as headaches and feeling tired become more frequent. Over time, people can become depressed and start using bad coping habits, such as substance abuse, to lighten that stress.
Although stress and anxiety may affect us all, it can become more severe and cause other problems for us, which is why we should care about these issues right away.
Kaitlyn Helmchen will graduate from North Side High School on June 5 and plans to study at Indiana University-Bloomington.