School, Stress, and Health

By: Lisette Yanez

If you’re a student, then stress is a huge part of your life, no doubt. But why? You’re an adult, or close, so what’s with all the struggle?

Well while school isn’t the leading cause of stress, money is, and the two correlate like milk and cookies. Recent studies show that most of Americans find themselves at a stressful crossroads around their final years of high school; unsure if they should find a decent job or pursue a higher education in hopes of a better job in the end.

The decision, in the end, is made, largely, by your financial standings. For example, if you have a savings account sitting in the bank, collecting interest, then you might choose to continue on to college, seeing as how you have a means of paying for most of it and will be taking out the least loans possible.

However, when short on money and, in some cases, dependents to care for, your priorities may be slightly askew.When you carry the load of an impending task, important results yet to be revealed, drama between friends, etc, you set yourself up for so many risks.

The stress caused by anything is severely damaging to your self esteem, health, and social life. Unfortunately, it’s usually inevitable to have some form of stress, but this can easily be remedied by a taking a break in some way.

There is a time for work and there is a time for play, balancing those two is arguably the most essential meaning of life. You don’t need to necessarily go all the way to the Bahamas to destress, but if you can at least take a few afternoons off to catch up on a much needed nap, watch a movie, and/or bake some cookies, then you’ll be set.

Life doesn’t get better when you graduate high school, leave all your immature friends behind, and start a fresh new life somewhere else. On the contrary, your priorities get a whole lot more mixed around and you have due dates flying about with a whole new degree of importance.

Well, that is, if you do decide to go to college after all. The life of straight-to-work after high school isn’t the most care-free either, jobs ask a lot from you, especially with only a high school diploma to put out on the table.

College demands you to give up at least one of your new life’s important pieces; sleep, grades, or social life. Any one of these will be extremely hard to see go but eventually you’ll see what will effect your life the least, should you give it up.

Stress has a bigger hold on you and a bigger power over your body than you sometimes give it credit for. We go through our lives everyday with at least one burden one our shoulders.

This, when overlooked, will eventually become physically evident to everyone around you as well. “The largest study ever conducted on acne and stress reveals that teenagers who were under high levels of stress were 23 percent more likely to have increased acne severity,” according to researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and colleagues.

This study looked at 94 students of the average age of 14.5 in Sweden and came to the conclusion that, “… levels of sebum, the oily substance that coats the skin and protects the hair, increase in times of stress and are related to acne severity.” It’s well-known that hormones, bacteria, and sebum production play major roles in the clarity, or lack of, on your face. But now it can be inferred that psychological stress helps these pesky hormones, oils, and germs kick into overdrive.

Technically, acne is a disease, no lie, because even though we know that we have no problem calling it that, it’s so weird to think that you and everyone around you has an inflammatory disease on their faces caused by a bunch of sebaceous(oil/grease) glands that are embedded in the layers of your skin, also known as the integumentary system.

We have no reason to believe that specific foods give you acne (except for foods high in fat and grease) because there’s so much more at work here.

So there’s that horrible truth, but let’s move onto the undeniable fact of life here; stress sucks and it’s a fact of life. And it cause more bad than just acne.

“A new study from Karolinska Institutet backs up what many people have suspected: that there are important links between mental stress and the complex physical inflammation reactions characteristic of allergies,” says ScienceDaily.

People with allergies are most at risk for these risks. 19 healthy students and 22 students with hay-fever and/or asthma were the subjects of this study and successfully proved that, “… a group of cells that are central to the human immune system known as regulatory T cells appear to increase sharply in number in response to mental stress,”according to ScienceDaily.

The T-cells mentioned are crucial in the management of the immune system and are evidently highly affected by the mental stress brought on by highly significant exams and/or other burdensome moments in your life.

To help this, there’s yet another study that shows when a student’s learning abilities are at their peek. Unfortunately this time happens to be later in the day, or, for most, a really busy part of the day; starting from and long after 11 a.m.

The basic point, though, of the study is that the best studying hours don’t align with standard school hours. ScienceDaily tells readers, “The study showed that much later starting times of after 11 a.m. or noon, result in the best learning. It also revealed that those who saw themselves as “evening” people outnumbered the “morning” people by 2:1…”

From this we deduce at what time of day we have a better chance of successfully learning with the least amount of stress possible, and in turn show better signs of health.

 

 

-University of Nevada, Reno. “College students study best later in the day, study shows: Students learn more effectively between 11 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. than at other times of the day.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170412105913.htm>.

-Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. “Link Found Between Teens’ Stress Levels And Acne Severity.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070305141029.htm>.

-Karolinska Institutet. “Exam Nerves Affects Students’ Immune Defense.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060818174125.htm>.


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