Second semester brings unwanted stress to students


Photo by Summer Laird

Senior Saige Pasard works on homework during free time in a class. As students continue on into the second semester the workload is becoming a lot to manage.

We made it. After all the ups and downs with Covid cases, people quarantining, the uncertainty of school closure, snow days and altering assignments to help meet requirements for finishing up the first semester. The second semester started a couple of weeks ago, which for some students caused unwanted stress. 

At the beginning of the second semester, students switch teachers. There are mixed feelings on switching because students get to know their first semester teachers and the people in their classes, so it can be jarring to lose all of that in the new semester. Junior Ava Benson is unhappy that the switch puts her in a position to have to be accustomed to new teaching styles. 

“Personally I feel that switching teachers can cause stress for students. You have spent the past semester building connections with your teachers and then the next semester you have to start from scratch. In some cases, you have to get used to a completely different teaching style than what you are used to. Yes, teachers do build in time to get to know each other at the beginning of each semester, but it is not to the same extent as during the beginning of the school year,” Benson said. 

Having to start all over again from scratch can be hard, but others like the fresh start consisting of new teachers and meeting new people. 

“I like switching teachers at the semester because it’s nice to get to know teachers and I know I can always go to past teachers if I need to,” senior Gretchen Klotz said.

As we go deeper and deeper into the school year, it can be challenging for students to juggle all of their responsibilities such as school, work and balancing a social life.

“The biggest challenge when it comes to handling my stress, especially as a senior, is juggling work and school. Since I try to be a very active student, I can get held up sometimes,” senior Sam Williams said. 

Although stress can take shape in many different forms, there are also many ways you can help manage and relieve the stress. Freshman Adiel Ephrem found that being new to the school took some adjusting, but found solace in making new relationships with staff and peers.

“During the first month, since I’m a freshman I was still new to the way that the school works, which made it harder. But talking to people and counselors really helped me,” Ephrem said. 

Some students, like Benson, are at the most important stage in their high school career. She is balancing studying for the SAT and looking at colleges, all while staying on top of her schoolwork, job, sports, extracurriculars and maintaining a social life. 

“So far juggling all my responsibilities as a junior hasn’t been the worst. I have been studying for the SAT on my own time and over the summer toured a few colleges. I also participate in extracurriculars and have to manage them alongside my other activities. I feel that it is also important to make time to see friends. I manage all this by using an agenda book and using the reminder feature on my phone,” Benson said. 

Many students have different techniques and ways they manage their stress. 

“To relieve stress I make a schedule for myself and write down important dates and commitments and hanging out with friends relieves stress,” Klotz said. 

Others like to take breaks and do activities like drawing, meditation, and music to relieve stress.  

“I would say to take a break and do something that relaxes you and makes you recharge so you can focus on the things you want better,” Ephrem said.

Upperclassmen have had four years of experience with juggling stress and different aspects of their lives. There have been plenty of times they were stressed, but over time have garnered their own tricks or systems that help them prevent or relieve stress. Nevertheless, this is the perfect time for underclassmen to find something that works for them and stick with it. 

One thing I would say to underclassmen is to use this crazy time to establish a schedule/routine. This is a perfect practice for future college and career experiences. See what works for you while the stakes are relatively low

— senior Sam Williams