Ed Note: The American Psychological Association recently released the findings of their 2013 Stress In America Survey and the results were surprising. Teenagers are now considered the most stressed out group in America. The average self-reported stress rate for teens was 5.8, on a scale of ten, in comparison with 5.1 for adults. Teens also reported feeling physical and mental effects of stress like feeling overwhelmed, fatigue and depression. A selection of teens surveyed also pointed out that their stress levels were rising and they aren’t doing enough to manage them.
The APA says stress can either be an immediate reaction to something temporary, or an experience that can last quite a while when stressors are constant. Stressors are individual internal or external things that induce stress. Stress is dangerous when it affects someone’s ability to function normally for an extended period of time. These findings led We’Ced to a robust discussion on what stress and stressors look like locally, as well as stress management strategies.
Do you feel stressed out? Why?
I feel really stressed out. There is stress all around me and I am greatly affected by it. From the AP tests and school projects I need to finish to financial issues at home, life is stressful! At school, teachers are trying to cram as much information as they can before the AP tests. For example my AP US History teacher said he was going to give us notes so that we could watch videos and study over spring break. Come on, it is my spring break but I still have to do work?
At home I worry about whether we are going to have enough rent money. It’s not even my own house and I am stressing about rent.
– Lisbeth, 17
School and my life in general stress me out. I feel that I have to do good in school so that I can one day be successful. I know so many people well past the age of 22 that still live or depend on their parents for financial support. I want to be able to help and support my family, not depend on them. Also, I feel that my situation at home is stressful. My parents are always struggling to save money because they spend so much on my and my sister. From cell phones to cars, they give us everything and I stress out that I may not support them like they support me.
– Benny, 18
I feel stressed out because I have alot of important tests coming up and I don’t feel prepared.
– Maria, 17
I am stressed out, especially over school and money.
– Deborah, 17
I’m almost always stressed out. I’m worried about my future, like making sure I have a good paying job, a nice place to live and I’m living up to expectations of me, living life as an adult.
I hate stressing and I feel like it’s not necessary. I mean life is hard and you always hear that no one said it was going to be easy but that’s probably because whoever said that probably had a plan or was already successful. I hear some say if you deal with the hard times it’s nothing but smooth sailing after. We’re living in Merced, a city with one of the highest unemployment rates and that doesn’t help me be confident about finding a job.
– Robert, 19
I’m stressed out. For me, the stress that I have comes from the amount of things in my
schedule. I sometimes sit and think if this is normal for a kid my age. I am a person who does not say “no,” I get involved with everything that I am invited to. There is times were situations overlap and I have to make a decision; that causes me stress. I am a person that loves to be busy and active, thus I have learned to cope with stress or at least minimize it.
– Fernando, 17
I kinda feel stressed, i feel stressed because of school and annoying people. At school people that don’t pay attention and just say “um, what?” when called on annoy me and that stresses me out.
– Natalie, 17