Reducing student stress begins with students November 10, 2015 — by Amith Galivanche Administrators, teachers and parents have all come together this year to focus on the issue of student stress. Administrators, teachers and parents have all come together this year to focus on the issue of student stress. But one group seems to be missing from the effort to reduce student stress: students themselves. The truth is that students too often put unneeded pressure on themselves. Much of stress issue stems from students feeling that they need to overload their schedules with APs and Honors courses, and they end up up having to drag themselves through a stressful school year. Many struggle to balance heavy schoolwork with whatever extracurricular activities they participate in. We must realize that in order to keep stress levels as low as possible, we should know our own limits. Everyone is different and everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. Those who struggle in social studies probably should stay away from courses like AP U.S. History, and not take it just because their friends are taking one more AP course than the are. It seems simple enough, but many students feel the need to overwhelm themselves, not because of the administration or their parents, but because of their own mentality, thinking that admission into a top college is a life or death matter. Everyone has the power to choose their own mentality and for stress levels to be as low as possible, students must choose a mentality that doesn’t force them to base their self-esteem off their course load and GPA. We will never achieve a less stressful environment if we rely only on outside solutions. We, as the students, must stop obsessing over what we can jot down on a college application and spend more time focusing on personality traits that matter, such as humor, kindness, and empathy and we may just find that a weight of stress has been lifted off our shoulders.