Student Stress Reaches New Level As Pandemic Year Comes to a Close

Just as schools start to get back to normal, students now have to deal with taking finals and Advanced Placement tests

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Students are still under a lot of stress even though there is light at the end of the tunnel, as far as the pandemic is concerned. They are taking finals and advanced placement exams.

“I took my AP test in my pajamas at my house this year,” said Kate Chasin, a junior at Serra High School, soon to be known as Canyon Hills High School. “It’s just a weird thing and I think it’s just the culmination of a very stress-inducing year.”

This year students have had to learn on zoom while preparing for important tests ahead.

“It’s been crazy,” said Hannah Griswold, a senior at University City High. “Not having enough time to cover units at the end of the school year and having to cover those on your own for an AP test can be a feat, because you're your own teacher.”

Both students acknowledge the adversity and stress of the pandemic. 

“There's been a lot of losses. Personally, I lost a lot of my senior year,” Griswold said. “Everyone is trying to put a positive spin on it, everyone is trying to show up for each other, and I think that's been amazing.”

“Everything just felt like it kept piling on each other,” Chasin said. “But we’re all still here, so we made it through.”

Making it through, though, has also been a challenge. Griswold lost a friend to suicide, and Chasin said she experienced what she calls accumulated stress, as she worried about conflict in the world. But they have learned they can handle the adversity and are ready for the next challenges.

“You really have to focus on the quality of people in your life and your support groups and your support networks. My teachers have been there for me, my friends and my family, and focusing on those quality people in your life really gets you through the finals, APs and big events like graduations,” Griswold said.

“Just to put things behind me," Chasin said about what the year has taught her.  “There are so many things out there, out of the scope of my control -- I can't control what's going on everywhere else in the world. I can just control how well I do on my finals, and so just being able to let all the external stresses go and be able to focus on myself.”

Lessons learned.

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