Students Stress Over Grades


Rachel Durkin, Staff Writer/Media Producer

School stress can certainly prevent a student from having a successful school year.

A vast majority of students worry about dealing with their parents’ expectations, maintaining a high GPA, doing well on tests, and balancing extracurricular activities or work while maintaining their grades. 

According to the Center for Mental Wellness, “stressing about grades is a normal experience for school-aged children.” Making this a common and “normal experience” creates a bad environment, making some students rely on their grades as academic validation and a major mental health issue.

A group of students of all grade levels at Carolina Forest High School were asked to share their thoughts on their personal stress issues.

Parent expectations were shown to be the top stressor. This represented 35.5 percent of student votes with another top response being maintaining a high GPA at 24.7 percent. Doing well on tests and balancing extracurricular activities or work while maintaining grades were also popular answers.

Sierra Owens, a junior, responded, “The lower my grades get, the more stress I develop.” She also says that she checks PowerSchool ”at least once everyday.”

Her response represents the many other student feedback who say lower grades make a negative or weak mental health cycle throughout the school year. The majority of students say they check PowerSchool everyday or at least three times a week.

Peyton Carpenter, a sophomore, shares, “Grades make me really stressed because then I don’t have time to get caught up.” 

It’s especially hard when students are missing school and making up assignments, especially in the midst of the Covid pandemic. 

Another student, freshman Hailey Goodman, responds to grades affecting her mental health stating, “If I get a bad grade, I feel as though I might not be good enough, and I should have tried harder even though I did my best”.

Stress is not the only thing that can be developed from grades. Students also commonly develop depression, anxiety, and nervousness disorders. A healthy balance of school grades and mental health will prevent these feelings of distraught and disappointment.  Sometimes it is as simple as taking a beach walk, playing with your pet or writing in a journal.  Students also need to talk to their teachers when life starts to become overwhelming.