Stress at School | Carley Rogers | TEDxYouth@ParkCity

Stress at School | Carley Rogers | [email protected]

Translator: Yasmina Casado González
Reviewer: Denise RQ There are many days I hear my alarm
waking me up for school, and I dread getting out of bed. I have more than I need. I’m fed every day, I live
in a wonderful house in a beautiful city, and I attend a good school,
yet I still don’t want to go. It is so easy to find
the negatives in school. Things like stress
and lack of interest in my classes are just some of the negatives
that overpower the good. Yet, at the perspective of another, their opinion
would be completely different. Imagine a 14-year-old girl
living in an African country: her name is Adisa, and she is part of a family of six
living in a one-room house. She would give anything
to have the opportunity to learn, but her family can’t afford it. To her, school would not be
the terrible monster that I see. She would find the positives. She would see school as a way to make new friends
and learn about the world around her. Thinking about Adisa and others
in her situation made me feel very guilty. Here I am, complaining about my life
when I have everything I need and more. What she would only dream of
living a life like mine? I’ve been told to be successful in life
I have to succeed in school. I’ve been told to get into a good college
I have to make good grades and participate in
as many school activities as possible. The way I see it, putting
that much pressure on yourself to make good grades
and participate in every school activity is not the best high school experience. For me, this just adds
to the pressure and anxiety making it more difficult to learn. I struggle with stress and the pressure of having
the best grades is always present. I was thinking about
what the number 4.0 actually means to me, and I stumbled to answer. What does it mean? It has to mean something if I’m putting
myself through so much to get it. I am one who strives to do my best, and the pressure and anxiety
is making me question why. Why am I putting
so much pressure on myself that I struggle to go to school? Stress about the workload pressure
on making good grades? It’s a lot. Even for me who has never found school
to be very difficult. I don’t find myself struggling very often, but that doesn’t make it any easier;
if anything, it makes it more difficult. Many don’t see how that could be the case. I’ve had several conversations where someone will say
something along the lines of, “if you are so good at school,
why don’t you like it?” This question and the many
different variations I’ve heard continue to confuse me. How does working hard
to perform well at school take away the stress or dislike? I know from personal experience:
it just adds to the stress and dislike. I put myself through this
so I’ll have more opportunities to live a successful life,
and I’m trying to understand why. When I hear my alarm waking me up
for school, I get ready for an entire day. I’m walking into day
for those seven hours of learning. Yikes. Seven hours of boredom,
frustration, and judgment. I’ve many classes that take so much energy
to keep from falling sleep. People that feel
that, because it’s a group project, they don’t have to do any of the work. Presentations that make me
shake with nervousness. Peers that feel the need to make others
feel bad about themselves. Add all this to the stress, and you’re looking
at the definition of misery. I look at school
and see a bubble of negativity, yet, at the perspective of another, their opinion
will be completely different. Adisa would go to school
and be over the moon excited. She would want to experience
all the different classes and subjects. She wouldn’t be so focused on the grades, because she’ll be so much more interested
in the actual learning. She would try her best to succeed and only see the stress
as a small side effect of school. I try to have
this perspective about school, especially because I’m
so incredible lucky to have all that I do. But it is a constant struggle. I tell myself to think about school
in the perspective of Adisa, who’d give anything to take my place. I find the positives
because that’s what she would do. She would work with the situation even if she doesn’t like
everything about it. And I feel this should be easier to do
than it actually is, but it’s not. I challenge you to think about your life from the perspective of someone
who’d give anything to take your place. Find the positives
and encourage others to do the same. Know that it’s only
a portion of your life, and it’s not the worst thing
you could be doing. I know it can be hard; trust me,
I struggle with it everyday. Just remember: don’t take anything for granted
and embrace the stuff you don’t like because there’s someone out there
who’d give anything to take your place. (Applause)


  1. I have the same struggle daily! Sometimes I feel Like I don't deserve the opportunities and chances i have.

  2. I like school but am stressed about getting into a program for a career that I want because of high competition, and the pressure of finding a career before I'm too old. It's cancerous.

  3. I agree that having good grades adds to stress. I have developed what can only be called an obsession with my English grade. I have had all 100s since the beginning of the year, and every time there is something to turn in for a grade I have a panic attack. This mostly stems from the fact that I want to establish a career as an author. I love my English class, but it stresses me out because it makes me feel like I have to be the best. I can’t help but think that everything would be different if my first English grade had been even slightly lower than 100.

  4. School treats you like robots
    School makes you believe you will never succeed if you don’t have an A or A star

  5. How to decrease stress in school. Relax. How? Let your body find a way but not during class, during nutrition.

  6. Schools fail to help kids to socialize and for many that creates lots of stress. It's not normal to be around 20 or 30 persons in a classroom and not giving them the chance to interact w each other. That creates a disconnection that generates distrust and fear of others. Workshop based on interactive activities are needed to help kids to learn good COMMUNICATION skills.

  7. Education doesn't have to be a miserable experience as it is with most standard schools. Look into Self-Directed Education. And the idea that an impoverished kid in another country would love to take your place as a student in school, doesn't make your plight any less unacceptable. Also western compulsory education isn't exactly the beacon of hope you make it out to be. Watch the film: Schooling the World.

  8. im a girl in africa and i have the same struggle as you, not the struggle of the metaphorical african girl
    not everyone in africa is poor 🙄

  9. I get so stressed over school, because I am pressured into getting good grades and it makes me feel stressed ALL OF THE TIME. Sometimes I feel like I am just a huge failure, even though people tell me “no you’re not, your so smart” but that constant stress leads me to think I am failing😔

  10. People are so worried about what she said about Africa, when you should be listening to the truth about school. It’s so stressful and I feel like teachers don’t completely understand that

  11. most of my highschool stress came from the socialising aspect.. I was so anxious in class everyday that I couldn't focus on my grades. looking back i spent a lifetime of time I should've used hanging out and identifying the mysteries of life and cracking jokes with friends on playing video games alone. this can go on a tangent about "the woes of excessive gaming" but I guess I would say hang out with your friends more instead of becoming a hermit.

  12. This is a message to all teachers and school staff and administrators. Just please please please.. Please base more on how to teach the youth to learn, not to obtain grades for their own pride. With grades, we obtain something in our minds and we take it out on tests. With learning, at least we have experience and we could learn by mistakes ourselves. Blah blah blah, enough, just do your homework coz this message will just get lost in YouTube 😂😂

  13. Alright, as a freshman, I just wanted to say that I’m in a rut right now. I’ve been in high school for exactly 6 full days, and I’m already looking at 2 hours of homework every night. As someone that has never gotten lower than a 92 on a report card (and doesn’t plan on it), I breakdown when the most minuscule things happen in class, and I think it’s taking me apart. I used to go to school excited to learn new things and develop my skills in different classes, but now it just feels like pure stress, and I’m scared that if I let the stress get to me I won’t get good grades anymore, and what does that mean for my future?? My father was the first person in his family to go to college, and I want to continue the pattern, so how do I do that without the little stresses of excess homework, no free time, and loss of motivation restraining me?? I don’t know what to do with my life anymore.

  14. I'm currently failing classes because of the stress to do everything perfect and to do the homework on the free time that i don't have. I thought I was supposed to learn in school but one hour on youtube can teach me more than stressful years of my life!

  15. I'm stressed over school bc i have a book report that I have to read a big book over and it's hard idk how to do it it's like teachers give you something and you have to do it with no instructions 😔 and i have 1 more day😭😭

  16. Well at least my school have mercy more than the others 4 hours. Forgivable system when u fail you have a lot of chances and homework less than the USA system and others

  17. I feel like if I relax I would become different from other people, and fall in the eyes of my parents, teachers etc. This Is why I burnout. Self satisfaction is everything for me.

  18. Each day just seems like an endless cycle. Get up at 6am, get dressed, eat, get on the train, sit at school till 4pm, go home, do 4hrs of homework, dinner, sleep 5-6hrs, repeat.

  19. You should try it with ADHD and Sensory Sensitivity. So, add a three-hour long headache, along with your five hours of HW (PER NIGHT!). Oh, and you have to get up and do it all over again.

    Sorry, but it doesn't matter how 'good' a school is if it overworks students, and isn't a good fit.

  20. Our world is getting so monotonic and boring.. has it always been that way or are we just starting to recognise that?

  21. I used to love going to school because I would learn many thing I was interested in. Now school is a place where you have to focus, put pressure on yourself to get the best grades. And that pretty sad to me because I always had to deal with the anxiety at school. The pressure I always had to deal with just made it harder for me to learn, so from 3rd grade to 6 grade(today) I started failing my classes so I got enrolled in home school. And another thing, all schools want every student to pass, but everytime someone had low grades like a D or sometimes an F on one or two subjects they would still pass them and that leads he students to more problems and so on. That is what I'm dealing with right now

  22. I get stressed out so much it's unbelievable. My school only cares about only good grades and not the students learning and understanding. They just tell you: for instance math, the teacher tells you the area of a parallelogram. This rule is that and you must do this to get it. Then they give us questions straight away expecting us to know it all. Are they crazy? Then they shout at you for not knowing. Most of the time I don't understand and homework piles up on me like mad. I only have hope because if my friends. French is worst and I always fail. Someone relate?

  23. School is about making you believe you need to jump through hoops to get good grades at any cost in order to please authority figures in your life. It’s a system for brainwashing people to be obedient. Look up john taylor gatto for info about the history of schools. That’s what they are designed for. Don’t stress over doing what they want. It won’t matter in the real world. You realize that afterwards. I’ve been out of school for many years and I wish I had known how unimportant all that info and the grades truly were.

  24. What I think adults don’t get is that teens are equally tired mentally as adults are physically everyday but what I’ve learned is that the meantal part hurts the most and that it’s more long term.

  25. School is so important to me! My parents didn’t get the right education, and I want to be able to prove to them that I will succeed in school. Everyone in my family has good grades! Not trying to brag but it’s been 2 years and I only get straight A’s but the thing is people think school comes easy to me cause I am the “smartest” people sometimes stereotype! They think I don’t try because it comes easy to me! I stress so much about school because i am so used of getting straight A’s

  26. Hey guys can I vent to yall real quick? Ok. So I go to school, and halfway through first period I get pulled into the office to take a test. I end up missing second period. I cannot contact these teachers about homework because I’m new and don’t have an email. I go to third period, web development. I end up replacing an old assignment that she didn’t grade yet with another one. I either go to school on Tuesday and re turn that in, or it didn’t save and I have to start over. Then my mom picks me up 40 min late and here I am.

  27. YES,of course we need to study to have a better future for but does not mean we need to sacrifice our childhood which will never come back !…
    having anxiety and stress or etc, young age shows that we aren't doing right.why is the world like this?

  28. It causes me stress and depression / anger some times, and if i don’t want to do something at school that i think is very scary, i cry myself to sleep because they put so much weight on top of me.. 😓

  29. The problem isn’t, “I am not grateful and feel guilty, I need to start looking at school from a new perspective so I am more grateful and less guilty.” Is that a solution to the constant mental health problems students face? Is that a solution to the suicide epidemic for young people in the U.S.? Suicide in the second leading cause of death for individuals 15 to 34 years old in the United States. You wonder why countries like Finland rank so highly in education compared to the U.S., because they pay there teachers much higher salaries, they pay there students, etc.

  30. The real problem about the school is that they dont teach us how to learn they teach us how to memorize and got good grades.
    I'm not a bad student cause I learned how to be still intersted in new knowledge, but all I found its a not improving education system that is making my partners getting a nonsense information overload.

  31. Teachers literally think you have all the time in the world to revise and do homework, eg: my English teacher wants me to read for 35 minutes a day and if we don’t we get a detention, my private maths tutor wants me to do an hour of maths a day, and then I get like 3 pieces of homework a day and then I want to revise for an hour of geography and science as they are what I also need to get good grades in- btw I am in yr 9/ 8th grade, and I still dek when my GCSE’s start lol

  32. It’s hard because I try hard to get the very best on everything, and that becomes my best. My best isn’t my personal best, but the grade that I’m given. For one of my classes, we had to draw an entire world map by hand, and I lost sleep and energy and had so much stress over it, and I got a c, while people that didn’t do as well as I did got a’s and b’s. I was so sad for the rest of the day and couldn’t think straight. I am a person that is surrounded by people telling me that grades are the most important thing and that I need good grades in order to achieve greatness. I don’t know how true that is, but st this point, it just doesn’t seem worth it anymore. I want to be a happy kid, but I can’t anymore.

  33. I have to present a presentation in history class, i have been crying for weeks. I feel so horrible, any advice??

  34. The presentation is well-structured and you can follow through her arguments. However, you should work a bit on your presentation skills (such as body language, voice and presentation language).

  35. The better grades you get the more your parents push you, I’m a a student but how do you get better than that? And I really stress over group projects because most kids in my class doesn’t even try. Usually I get stuck with someone that doesn’t do anything and I have to do the project all by myself! Why!

  36. This African girl…

    When she would started going to school normally like us, she would also be stressed and would not like to

  37. I have a disease but choose to go to school even I feel like in one push at me I maybe collapsed,but the fact that the food in my front giving me power to go to school,eveb don't letting know to my guardian I'm in pain..the fact that someone found out my enduring pain..that cause my teacher and my guardian let me absent..kill me many night..the fact that I really need to go to school just to be recognize AGAIN as a top student would be my dream..if only I let my body rest 😭😭

  38. I wake up at 9 am, I go to school at 11 or 12 am, I stay at school 7 hours or 6 hours, I come home at 6, I eat than i am doing my homework the rest of my "free" time and I go sleep at 11. What a beautiful life I HAVE.. And I also struggle at school with bullies, fake friends and embrassment everyday. + Here in Romania we have hard school. Like what Americans are doing in 8 grade we are doing in 5 grade. And we have 7 hours/ 6 hours per day with 10 minute pauses each hour. I hate my life, I better die

  39. I will sleep for exactly 2 hours tonight. Insomnia? No. School? Yes. My age? 13. This isn't healthy. I'm sick. Do I have a choice? No. Not at all.

  40. My parents are probably the biggest source of my pressure, if I get a bad grade or god forbid if I get a C on my report card I feel absolutely terrible and they make me feel terrible about it too, they act disappointed and I can't blame them but it's just too much. I just can't deal with this stress in my life. I worry constantly about my grades and I always think about how I can improve, I will fly into anxiety attacks over poor grades because I think I will grow to become a failure and I will never be good enough.

  41. Reason why, I want to be done with school, no LIFE.
    1. Everyone at my school are jerks, they don’t care about other people’s feelings
    2.sooo much drama
    3. No one wants to work because of the boring subject
    4. I get 4-7 hours of sleep and they tell me that it’s my fault, like just because I don’t understand the homework means it’s MY fault? Or is it ur fault that you can’t teach right?
    5. I learn other things like “how u can get kidnapped” and more on social medical.i hardly understand anything. Why do I need to learn about something I know, then they say. Don’t waste ur time learning something you have learned before. Like what?
    6. Most of these things you learn in school, you will never really need them. Like ok, I need to write, do some simple math and that’s all.
    Why don’t they teach us things like, cooking, tax, and things you actually need in adulthood…
    7. I mostly can’t even remember something I learned yesterday because of stress.
    8. what is homework for? It’s for practice yes, but don’t we do that in school already?
    9. we cant talk in class, if not then why not have a teacher for each student? Wouldn’t that be easier. Of course not, schools need activities like football team and more. Like who has time to do those activities, and then expect all of them to have their homework done. Like HOW!!
    10. We are just robots, simply robots.
    11. Lunch from school is like something a three year old can do better.
    12. Not being available to swear, like ok. It’s bad WORDS but who takes them seriously? No one. Period
    13. Not being available to have phones in class, but you can take them with you, then they ask us to turn it off. Like whats the point of us being able to bring them but not use it? .-.
    14. The girls have like a whole book for dress code. Then the boys have nothing and can be shirtless and no one can care? Explain.
    15. My damn back and shoulders hurt so much from the homework. Like, they don’t care lol
    16. Some schools don’t hav AC, like we need AC!! If it’s so hot/cold I can’t focus, I would be wondering when I can get home to get cooled/warm.
    17. They broke.
    18. (I found this on insta, not my words!) “if school isn’t a place for sleeping, then home isn’t a place for work.”
    19. Last one lol, everyone is annoying or boring, sorry not sorry

    Thank you for reading..

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