Students’ level of stress vary from grade to grade

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While it’s safe to say that most ETHS students feel stress and anxiety when coming into the new school year, the type of stress and the severity of it vary from grade to grade.

“The difference between the first few weeks of freshman and sophomore year was huge,” recalls senior Charlie Bailey. “As a freshman, coming into the big high school was pretty intimidating, but every year since, I’ve felt completely comfortable.”

As kids get older their back to school stress seems to diminish.  A senior compared to a freshman feels completely different when entering school after summer.

According to Kids Health, freshmen coming into school have the most anxiety among the grade levels. Unlike seniors, the freshmen have never experienced anything in high school. Senior studies teacher Steve Newman says freshmen tend to feel the most stress because high school is so different from anything they have done.

“It is a bit nerve-wracking going into this huge new school.  There is a lot of pressure to stand out academically among all these new kids,” says freshman Ryann Oakley.

Sophomores, however, have it a lot easier than freshmen, having already gained some familiarity with the school.

“I feel a lot less nervous going into this year.  I have already gone through a full school year, so I know what to expect and what is expected from me.” says sophomore Ben Ellman.

Sophomore year is usually considered the easiest of high school. Students are accustomed to their school and the workload isn’t as bad as junior and senior year due to the fact most students aren’t taking AP classes.

Junior year is often thought of as the most stressful year as a highschooler. Students have a demanding workload from AP classes and standardized tests like the ACT and SAT.

“I felt like an elephant was sitting on me everyday and it never got better,” says senior Caroline Moore on her experience of junior year.

However, in the eyes of some students, the stress tends to die down as the year goes on.

“Everyone talks about junior year as if it’s impossible but it really wasn’t bad,” adds Bailey. “It can seem overwhelming at first, but you adjust to the workload as the year goes on.”

While seniors often slack off towards the end of the year, they don’t have it completely easy.  The college application process is one of the most stressful parts of a student’s life, and that combined with a heavy workload and extra curriculars can lead to a tough first semester.

“I have mixed emotions about college apps.  It seems exciting that we are so close to college, but that also brings anxiety,” says senior Julia Mates. “However, I am definitely looking forward to senior year.  It’s going to be different from junior year because it’s less about your scores and letter grades.”