Cubs cope with stress

Staff Reports

Often when something is coming to an end, people will say that it is “winding down.” However, that phrase suggests a sort of gradual, relaxed ending that simply won’t work when talking about the end of the school year.

As the year transitions into the fourth quarter, student stress is high at Mount Carmel. Students who were interviewed cited family and friend issues as contributors to stress, but the academic-extracurricular balance required of Mount Carmel students was far and away the most commonly mentioned issue.

“This year I am only taking two honors, a jump down from past years of 4 or 5. I am on the executive board of student council, chorale, and NHS,” said senior Katherine Mialaret. “I also have a part time job. It is sometimes hard to juggle, especially between work and eboard, but as long as I keep myself organized, I rarely have problems. When I do have problems, sometimes my schoolwork has suffered for it.”

For junior Sarah Liang, juggling the amount of stuff she has to do is only exacerbated by the fact that things are also getting more difficult.

“Junior year was no doubt my hardest year at Mount Carmel Academy. While the curriculum has definitely gotten more difficult each year, junior year has challenged me more than I ever have been in school,” said Liang. “I find myself spending more time studying and doing homework, completing projects, and stressing about upcoming assignments. I think the most daunting part of junior year is the stress level.”

And whether it is for spending money or for real-life expenses, many students have to add job obligations to their list of things keeping them busy.

“I am in English and economics honors and civics AP and I have a part time job,” said senior Alyssa Mulligan The job affects the workload the most because nights that I have work I have to start my homework much later than usual. I don’t personally feel like honors or AP classes add on to my workload that much.”

With the additional stress, students are also learning strategies to help themselves cope. Senior Baylee Robertson said she had to identify her habit of saying “yes” to anything asked of her and make herself start setting boundaries.

“For example, lunch is my time,” said Robertson. “I do not work on homework or anything for extracurricular during lunch. It is a boundary that keeps me sane. You need to make ‘me’ time.”

Liang has adopted a similar approach.

“I’ve had to learn this year that sometimes you have to say no to things. Maybe you don’t have enough time to devote yourself to that honors class,” she said. “Maybe you can’t go out with your friends on Sunday night. It’s okay, no one is perfect, and there will always be another Sunday. Junior year is very, very, very hard. You will have to take the L sometimes––but everyone else will too. You are not alone. Hold onto your friends because they will be the ones helping you survive. It’s going to be hard, but you’re going to get through it.”

Sophomore Corinne Hesson relies on activities and hobbies to get her through stressful stretches.

“I do yoga and meditate in my spare time,” she said. “I also work in photography and film when I can. When I am really stressed out, I fix and clean my car. I am pretty good with cars and the focus it takes to fix an engine or change the rims of a vehicle takes my my mind off of life’s stressors.”

As some note (see article “Teachers talk student stress”), stress isn’t always negative and channeling it positively can lead to improvement.

“Honestly, junior year has brought me closer to the most genuine people in my life, so overall, this year has benefitted me,” said junior Nina Cespedes. “Also, I don’t regret taking harder classes because it shows me what I am capable of.”