There is an interesting online debate in today’s NY Times, which explores the question: “Do high school students have too much stress?” It features six debaters from a variety of viewpoints, and makes an interesting read.
Of course, I’m seeing this stress close up. My daughter is in 11th grade, and this is finals week. Are we dealing with stress? What a silly question. She’s taking four APs (US History, English, Art History, and Chemistry), plus Honors Math Analysis and Advanced Dance (plus Independent Study French II through BYU and Confirmation Class at synagogue). Of course she’s stressed, studying her tush off, getting 4-5 hours of sleep, and subsisting on (from what she tells me Jolt and Red Bull).
I certainly don’t remember that stress when I was in high school.
But then again, how much of this is preparation for the real world. We all have lulls and peaks in our jobs, and at time life is stressful. I’m of the belief that public schools teach all sorts of coping mechanism that aren’t formal curriculum, and dealing with stress and time management is one of them. Another is learning not to take on too much. So how much of the fault is the public schools, and how much is the college system for stressing the need for perfect grades and tons of extracurricular activities.
Still, I’d love to hear your opinions on the debate.