Stressing the need for a change

By Srija Srinivasan | Staff Writer

Every day, students attend school, are plagued with thoughts regarding completing assignments, prepare for tests and quizzes, and maintain relationships between friends and family members. An excessive amount of pressure is being put on these growing young adults. To help understand the severity and causes of this stress, Jay Jackson collaborated with Dr. Stuart Slavin, Head of the University of St. Louis Medical school, to run the stress survey that many people have taken during advisory. Using the data, Jackson hopes that the survey will provide data to make changes to our school.

“We were introduced to Dr. Slavin through Vicki Abeles, the Director of the movie ‘Race to Nowhere,’” said Assistant Principal Jay Jackson.

Dr. Slavin noticed a lot of stress at his medical school and decided to issue a survey to the students to identify the causes of the stress.

“Once they identified causes, they made institutional changes that reduced stress by roughly 24%,” Jackson said. “He wanted to try out a similar study at a high school. The reality is that we want to be the school that is the model for doing something about it.”

However, the overall effectiveness of the survey will not be determined for some time. Dr. Slavin plans to look at the data, fly out to Irvington to present his findings, and offer his suggestions for institutional changes we can make.

While some students found the survey tedious and somewhat repetitive, they still felt that it was important for the administration to monitor the stress levels of the students.

“I believe the survey is a way in which the administration is taking an active part in knowing about their students’ stress lives so that they can better understand and help their students,” senior Ruchi Sheth said.

The anonymous nature of the test made it so that students felt more comfortable sharing. “I think making the survey anonymous was good because some people can be sensitive towards questions regarding their personal health and might not like it if teachers were to find out,” said freshman Sruti Nagam.