Tag Archives: features

Testing anxiety causes student stress to spiral

Story by Madi Coleman, Olivia Schroeder, and Renee Davis

 

Over the past 10 years, anxiety among teens has increased by 17 percent, according to Child Mind Institute. In addition to that, a Bagpiper survey showed that more than 800 students at FC suffer from anxiety and say that standardized testing is one of the main causes. 

The Bagpiper survey also shows that most high school students have not yet found a way to handle the anxiety they get from testing. They just get stressed out, and that causes a lack of sleep, which will just raise their anxiety levels even more.

“If it is the night before a big test and I’m stressed out, like I don’t know what I need to study or what I need to do, then I won’t get as much sleep because I’ll be up late worrying about it,” said freshman Hannah Watson. Students are also under pressure to get things done on time and to get them done right, which just adds to the anxiety. 

 The lack of sleep causes more anxiety and makes students less focused in school because they are trying to stay awake. It also works the other way around, though; anxiety is not only the result of no sleep but it can also cause a lack of sleep. 

Some of this anxiety may be due to expectations for students, according to child therapist Dr. Michelle Page. “School is simply too stressful. Educators, parents, and society place too many expectations on children who are not emotionally ready to meet the demands of an adult world,” she said. 

Watson also said, “Sometimes I have to miss school because my anxiety is so bad.” This is also a very common problem among teens. Instead of coming to school and falling asleep in class, students are just not coming because their anxiety is so bad or because they are nervous about taking a test.

“The worst part is being scared you are going to fail all together. It’s hard to explain, because you work so hard and then you feel like your going to fail. Then you overthink everything, what if I don’t know what I’m doing? What if I look like a fool when my teacher grades this?” said Lanesville High School sophomore Anna Smith. 

So many students struggle with test anxiety and they just do not know how to deal with it. But, there are solutions. 

 “Tackling time management is the big problem. Laying out a timeline can help by showing you when you are going to study or what to prepare for the test. Research that shows if you take notes home every night and look over them for 10 minutes, you are going to remember more of the information. We encourage students to take the notes home that day and look over them,” said counselor Emily Sowder.   

“If you can calm yourself down the night before or during the test you will perform better. But also knowing that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get the score that you want,” said counselor Mark Clark. 

Page also said it is important for stressed teens to reach out to trusted adults. 

 “Get help. Have someone to talk to. Communicate to your caregivers. Seek therapy and or medicine if necessary. Nobody can handle it alone,” she said. 

Power-lifting team enters second season

By J.D. McKay

If you have been to a FC sporting event over the past year, it is clear that our athletes are bigger, faster, and stronger than ever before. That is because of strength and condition coach Donnie Gumble. His first year was last season, and after just his first year, the football team won sectionals for the first time in 10 years. We also won five other sectionals this fall, so that decision seems to be paying off.

Gumble came from Florida where weightlifting was a official high school sport. 

“I started it because it was something I competed in in high school. In Florida, it is a varsity sport, so you have your teams,” said Gumble. “You develop team comradery and you develop a family within your team like you do in football, basketball, or any other team sport. That was what it was like in Florida at the last school I was at. The goal is to develop this club and hopefully the IHSAA will see it through as a varsity sport in the next 5 to 10 years.”

Making power lifting an official sport in Indiana would not make us outliers. Many other states are adding it as an official sport. According to Gumble, Minnesota and Arizona have it as well as many southern states. 

“Last year at the high school state meet there were at least 10 schools,” said Gumble. “Some schools brought one lifter but other schools like Crown Point have a whole club team and brought between eight and 12 lifters with them.”

If you are worried that you are not the best athlete or star of a team, but want to compete against other Indiana schools, Gumble said that is not an issue either. 

“You do not have to be the all-star athlete of a tradition sport to be good at weight lifting. A lot of times it is not the guy who is the all-star or the first stringer but they just have this natural knack for bar-bell movements, or they are just made for it,” said Gumble. 

Senior Noah Lukinovich has not played a sport in high school, so he was a little worried about being behind, however, that has not been an issue. 

“I was not sure I would be a top priority for coach Gumble, be he definitely gives me and everybody else the attention that they need. He also gives great instructions even for athletes at all different levels of experience,” he said.

Senior Gary Schultz has plenty of experience lifting and joined the team after football season because he just enjoyed lifting and working with Gumble. But his goals have changed a little since when he joined. 

“I want to lose weight while my lifts go up,” he said. “It’s fun to do it for Coach Gumble, too, because he is always smiling and really enjoys what he does.”

Gumble said, “I am passionate about weight lifting. It has tremendous transfer and benefits to sports performance.”

 

Cost: Free

When: After school most days or before school on Mondays and Wednesdays. Talk to Gumble for more time information. 

Questions: Talk to Gumble in the weight room after school or email him at dgumble@nafcs.k12.in.us

J1 students reflect on student anxiety

Story by Emily Butrum and Madison Coleman

As the school year progresses, so does the work. Throughout the school year, the average student’s workload increases, and oftentimes they can find themselves overwhelmed. 

Anxiety can be built up by small situations or a big event, which can become a combination of school and life outside of school. According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly one in three of all adolescents ages 13 to 18 will experience an anxiety disorder. With the schools population of 1,400, that leaves roughly 467 students in our school are likely suffering from anxiety. 

Anxiety is defined as a body’s natural response to stress, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Every student will typically feel anxiety throughout his or her high school experience. However, students who experience a constant anxious feeling most days for at least six months may have a problem larger than healthy anxiety or stress. 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is when a person feels excessive anxiety or worry for at least six consecutive months. Anxiety can also branch into multiple forms of anxiety-related mental disorders, with GAD being the most common.  

“I most definitely feel that my anxiety hits major peaks throughout the year. Typically during finals and during my AP exams,” said senior Olivia Hartz. 

As a senior taking a course at IvyTech on top of two other Advanced Placement (AP) classes offered at FC, it’s the least to say her schoolwork can get overwhelming.

“During soccer season is when I find myself the most scrambled for time. It’s hard to manage time between school, soccer, friends, and work,” said Hartz. 

Most AP classes recommend that students spend at least one hour studying each night for that individual class. This leaves them with little time to spare for activities outside of school. Given that over 40 percent of FC is involved in some sort of extracurricular activity, according to principal Rob Willman, most students have their time already committed after school. Extracurriculars such as sports, clubs, and arts all require time outside of school from students.

“It’s important for students to understand the need for good time management skills. When they plan out their time and schedule what they need done ahead of time, they’re going to be far less overwhelmed,” said counselor Mark Clark. 

The best way to combat being overwhelmed is to avoid procrastinating, which can reduce a students anxiety. Good time management skills provide benefits to students in most aspects of their life beyond school. 

There are many resources available to students, which is important for the student body to be informed of. FC offers free tutoring after school on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday in room B101. During the school day, students can use the study halls and peer tutors to help with their work load or help in any classes they are struggling in. FC also has a school therapist students have the ability to visit. Therapy has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to combat anxiety. According to the American Psychological Association, many people improve significantly within 8 to 10 therapy sessions.

“In those times it does become overwhelming, that’s what counselors are here for; to help put together a plan to help students overcome the stress and anxiety they may be facing,” said Clark. Counselors are available to all students, with each student having a specific counselor assigned to them. Setting up a plan with steps to accomplish all school work can be incredibly beneficial to reducing stress. 

If an individual feels that anxiety has caused significant problems in his or her life, it is important to seek help. There are multiple resources available to students at FC, all of which are completely free of charge. The best way to combat anxiety caused from school-related work is time management and expressing anxiety to a qualified therapist. When anxiety becomes overwhelming, it is important to use the resources provided. 

Clark reminded students, “Coming forward [about mental health] is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength.”