staff editorial

Anxiety. More teens are feeling anxious as required classes limit electives.


If you’ve ever talked to your parents about what it was like when they were in high school, chances are, you’ve all probably noticed that things are a lot different now than they were back then.

Today, our schedules are packed to the brim with core-academic classes, with little to no room for electives we enjoy. Not to mention, to be competitive in college admissions, many of us take more academic classes, like an extra math or science class, instead of humanities like art or skilled trades classes. Between the schedules we have during the day to meet graduation requirements set by the district and the state to the homework we get as a result, this is leading to a massive epidemic among us – anxiety.

It’s bad enough that we get up in the early hours of the morning to go to school. Factor in before and after school extracurriculars, the astronomical amounts of homework that we get from some of our classes, and jobs, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. We have little to no time to enjoy ourselves and recharge, which leads to an anxiety epidemic among ourselves and our peers.

Anxiety only gets worse when it comes time to dealing with family, friends, and classmates. If we want even the slightest chance at reducing anxiety among teens, we need to get to the root of the problem.

It’s simple: we believe that the recent increase in state graduation requirements is leading to more teens dealing with anxiety.
By dishing out more and more for us to do with our schedules at school, the time for enjoyment and self-exploration, especially in our classes, becomes next to nothing. Add up all the homework that we get in these required classes, and it’s no wonder that there’s been an exponential increase in students with anxiety.

Think back to your parents – when they were in high school, they probably had opportunities to explore potential careers in classes like auto shop, or to decompress and get work done while still at school in study hall or home room, instead of being forced to take another calculus class.

Those days are long gone now, and it’s hard to ignore that with that comes this increase in teens dealing with anxiety.
Sure, because of the new graduation requirements, we’re apparently more prepared than ever for college and post-secondary education options. However, do we really need some of the classes required of us, and will we even be able to function past high school after dealing with anxiety as a result of the high school requirements?

We don’t think so. Instead of treating us as numbers for the state’s graduation rate and standardized test scores, the state needs to treat us as people. We need time in school to calm down from the anxiety in our classes, whether it’s in a soothing art class or a home room. If we don’t want to continue on with math (especially if we won’t use it in our careers), then we shouldn’t be forced to.

We often feel like we don’t have many choices in school, and like we’re forced to take classes that don’t matter. We believe that if the state wants to help teens like ourselves and preserve our mental health, they need to revise their rigid graduation requirements.


Editorial Board Vote
ARE INCREASED state graduation requirements leading to more teen anxiety?

yes 8 no 1