April Anxiety

As the end of the year comes about, students experience an increase in anxiety.

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April Anxiety

Neha Sridhar, Staff Writer

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Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 – the most stressful day of the year (Google Trends)

With final exams and end of the year stress becoming the bane of many students’ existences, students at Olathe North and across the country are seeing spikes in their daily dose of anxiety over school and activities. While January may have been found to be the most depressing month of the year, even Google Trends finds that the most stressful day of the year is in April — ironic, because April is also National Stress Awareness Month.

Mrs. Wilhm, who teaches AP Spanish Language and Culture, describes the fourth quarter as one of the more stressful ones. “I think the spring can be a stressful time in general for students. There is a lot going on. I feel this way about December as well.”

Junior Jaycie Campbell, when asked about her stress levels in April, said, “Yes, I am [more stressed], because it’s getting to the end of the year and I want my grades to be good for finals, so stress does build up a lot.”

In addition, this school year is particularly hectic as students and teachers in AP classes struggle to make up for lost time in preparation for AP exams in May.

Mrs. Wilhm, when asked about the lead up to AP exams, said, “It [lost time] has impacted my classes, but the practice and preparation for AP Exams is ongoing. I feel like we have done many activities to prepare and students will either know the material or not.” She also mentions that students will study on their own in free time even with the missing time. “I feel that students will study regardless of missing days and the desire to achieve a highscore on the AP Exam naturally adds pressure. Students want to do well.”

With all of the lost school days due to heavy inclement weather, lost time in classes has lead to a new schedule change for all of fourth quarter, planned tests being cancelled in order to cover as much material as possible, and not a single day off of school after spring break. Going to school so continuously for so long takes a toll on students’ mental healths, and leads to a spike in anxiety and stress levels during the fourth quarter.

Spring can also be a stressful time in general, with a combination of allergies, changing weather, and hormonal shifts in melatonin levels due to a lack of sunlight during winter months suddenly increasing with warmer spring days all leading to added stress. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a disorder where people can experience mild to severe depression when days get shorter in winter, can also happen in reverse — ten percent of people with SAD can grow more melancholy when the climate shifts to warmer. This culprit of added stress can also be experienced by people without the disorder, as any shift in a person’s circadian rhythm due to loss of sleep while studying for exams or added sunlight can prolong feelings of anxiety.

With so many pressures, it is important to make time to relax. Take a break, put down that textbook, and try to remember that April does not last forever.