Anxiety — a growing problem for today’s students

Homework, social media can play major roles

You may know what it’s like to feel “butterflies” in your stomach before you do something that you’re nervous about. However, in today’s society, the “butterfly” feeling has grown into something more. Anxiety is common among many teens.

The problem is that this anxiety can begin to form at an early age. Studies showed that “eighth graders that spend 10+ hours a week on social media are more likely to say they’re unhappy than their peers”.

Apps like Instagram and Facebook allow people to view others’ images, making it easy to compare followers and likes. The issue with these two apps is that people only post pictures when they are at their best. It isn’t likely that someone will post a picture when they don’t look good or when they’re doing absolutely nothing, but rather they’ll wait until they know they can get maximum likes.

So teenagers are comparing their normal day to images from their friends’ or another famous person’s account when they went on a trip or did something “Instagram worthy”. This can cause what it is known as FOMO, or fear of missing out. It is scientifically proven that when you get likes, your body releases dopamine. So if enough likes aren’t reached, people can feel like they’re not good enough.

Another cause of stress for teenagers in school. Especially in an academically competitive atmosphere, it is easy for students to feel overwhelmed. As for students at Jackson Prep, balancing sports and school can be challenging. Rising Prep senior Alex Gibbs says, “There have been times that I’ve stayed up until 1 doing homework.” The amount of work teachers give students cause anxiety at times, which can lead to the student becoming sleep deprived and more overwhelmed.

So, what can you do to reduce the amount of stress and anxiety in your day to day activities? If you feel anxiety from looking on social media, deleting the app/apps is a clear way to stop the anxiety. Recently I deleted Instagram and I’m so happy that I did. I found that I was constantly getting on the app and comparing myself to other people. I realized that I never got off Instagram and felt better about myself.

Although reducing stress due to social media has some easy fixes, easing stress at school isn’t quite so easy. For starters, I would recommend prioritizing. If you find yourself constantly busy throughout the week, make a list of what has to be done. Doing what’s more important rather than what you want to do will help you feel less stressed. It is important, however, to put aside downtime so that you’re not constantly doing homework, practicing for a sport, etc.