Emotional Health: Difficulty Catching Zs


Jared Bakonyi

Connor Jacques (11) with some last-minute studying!

In the new world of cell phones, touch screens and social media, it can be difficult to effectively manage your timetable, stress levels, and workload. Emotional health is an issue facing society like never before. Teenagers in particular are pressured into balancing significantly demanding aspects of their lives such as upholding proper academic focus, social interaction, family values, and much more.

Mental health is particularly difficult for teens who may be simultaneously experiencing other issues in their lives. In a survey done by Sutter Health Palo Alto Medical Foundation, aspects of mental health which proved most concerning to teenagers consist of depression/loneliness (34.2%), academic stress (12.0%), developing healthy relationships (11.2%), and a wide spectrum of other facets including transitioning into adulthood and character development.

Additionally, students are constantly being influenced by family expectations and the ever-so changing university acceptance standards. Post-secondary institutions are encouraging extracurricular involvement more than ever; Harvard’s website poses questions of “Do you have initiative? Have you been stretching yourself? What sort of human being are you?” reinforcing what they are looking for in applicants. This is contradictory to the common assumption of top institutions purely searching for high academic achievement.

At St. George’s, students are often encouraged to increase community involvement throughout the several highlighted aspects of student life. Highly regarded student/athlete hybrids are often on the receiving end of substantial school-wide recognition. Saints also praises its highly achieving musicians/artists/innovators; as a result, younger students tend to develop a certain hunger for success as they observe the happenings of their older peers.

When asked his opinion in regards to managing schoolwork, extracurriculars and healthy work habits, Michael Lau (11) felt that “Saints provides a plethora of extracurricular options which all seem appealing until you consider the amount of school work in the senior grades.” He went further to explain that often students are forced to “choose 2 out of the 3 when it comes to sleep, extracurricular activities, and school.”

Saints consistently receives feedback from students who state that they feel unable or limited in their ability to get a proper night’s sleep. Due to the student’s tendencies for overachievement and from hearing the insight of the school’s heavily involved students one must wonder if there is a connection.

“The best way to stay on top of everything is keeping organized. Grade 11 has taught me to keep track of where everything is, because if you don’t you will miss things. Having a neat and organized binder as well as an organized sports bag means nothing will ever be forgotten.”

– Chris Wells (11)