Illustration by Abby Lehan
High school is one of the places where people figure out who they are and who they want to be, but self discovery does not come without its downfalls. One of those downfalls can be mental health. With 1 in 5 teenagers having a mental illness and the stress from social life and assignments, high school can be tough.
Freshman year is the first year of students high school careers, and the first year that their grades will count towards their Grade Point Average (GPA). High school is also where more students become aware of their mental health, meaning that more students are analyzing their health subconsciously and realizing what may need attention.
In 10th grade students get to move buildings for the last time in their K-12 education. Along with the new building comes a bigger workload and higher expectations. Expectations on top of keeping a social life can prove rather difficult and its hard for students to cope sometimes. Former student Jaden Lewis experienced major changes in her mental health in her sophomore year. “I dropped out of school in sophomore year,” Lewis said. “Mainly because I was getting bullied a lot and I was really self conscious. I was always concerned about what people thought of me and I was having panic attacks a lot. So yeah, needless to say 10th grade was really hard for me.”
A lot is put on the shoulders of juniors, ACTs and SATs are some of the most important tests that they will take because many colleges look at the scores before accepting an applicant. Stress over school can be draining and that can take a toll on a teenagers mental health. Balancing social life and family life on top of school can have a mental toll and a battle in itself.
Once students hit senior year they are thrown into the world of planning their next step for the rest of their lives. Juggling college advisory, getting the rest of their required credits, and graduation around the corner they have a lot on their plates. Senioritis is not uncommon to hear around the halls of any high school, with students preparing to become adults and the pressure of passing being extra high. “Senior year was different from what I was expecting, I thought that there were just going to be more tests and maybe some emails from different colleges,” Savannah Dunbar ’20 said. “Advisory was a lot more present than what I was expecting as well, it really honed in on the reality that college was next year and that I was about to enter the rest of my life, it was scary.”
Each grade has their struggle and it all depends on the person so there is no definite way to compare the mental health of each grade. It is important to get help and talk to someone if feeling overwhelmed or if one needs help in general. It is crucial for people to understand that every student has their own struggles and difficulties.