How does the struggle of balancing school and a social life affect the psyche of students?

Portrait of troubled girl touching head while preparing for seminar in college library

Introduction Video


Recently, there has been an epidemic of anxiety among students due to school and its pressures. The effects of this academic stress can be physical, mental, and social and cause a great disruption in their lives. A survey done by the American Psychological Association shows how 45 percent of teens were impacted by the pressures of school which lead them to an abundance of stress. The stress obtained from school can lead to difficulty of sleeping, increased heart rate, higher anxiety, antisocial behavior and a bunch more negative symptoms. The image below helps to visualize the shared feeling of stress from students and how it impacts their life outside of school


Scientific Background

A study done by Society for Research In child Development (SRCD) showed how the stress caused there to be an academic setback in the education of the students. The survey revolved around taking daily saliva samples of specific teens in order to evaluate the cortisol levels (stress induced hormones). Most of these students, 68 percent, grade’s dropped during the first semester after reporting that they were feeling stressed. The grades really took a toll on these students which could’ve developed into chronic stress causing there to be long term damage in the immune system and/or other parts of the body. 

A disturbing statistic

“Stress can destroy much more than just our physical health. Too often, it eats away at our hope, belief, and faith.”

-Charles f. glassman

My Response: What can we do?

Although too much stress can lead to negative symptoms, instead stress could be used as a valuable motivator to push you into success. Therefore, learning to manage the overwhelming amount of mental pressure into something more docile, can be hugely beneficial to students. 

Using the stress management tools as illustrated above along with the following are micro steps in oder to achieve a good balance between motivation and a tranquil mentality. 

  • Unplug!
    • Disconnect from all forms of social media and focus on yourself. Shying away from technological devices is scientifically proven, by British researchers, to lower your stress levels. 
  • Practice Mindfulness
    • The RRTC defines “mindfulness” as, “a state of intentional, nonjudgmental focus on the present moment. Mindfulness techniques are often incorporated into other practices, such as yoga or meditation.” 
  • Become morning people
    • Mornings can be very tough on most individuals, but a study done by Christopher Randler, proves how early risers are more proactive resulting in higher probability of success in the future. Use this extra time as an advantage by studying more and accomplishing stressful assignments.   

How will you help?

In the comments below, please share (1) What sacrifices do you have to make for school? (2) How is balancing all curricular and extracurricular activities affected your mental health? (3) How do you manage your stress?

Useful Sources


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  1. April 23, 2020 by Elizabeth

    Hi Andrea,
    I love how you used so many types of media. I think the videos you included were very informational and I really like the Spotify playlist and survey. I’m sure plenty of other people feel this way as well, but I feel like I sacrificed a lot of sleep time for school. In addition to sleep, I have also given up piano/violin lessons, along with art classes and lots of free time. However, I think one huge benefit I have found is that being put in a high-stress environment with very limited time helped me figure out what I really enjoy and want to spend my time doing. Although I really miss art and music, I think was doing some other activities because I thought my parents would like it or my friends were all doing it. Managing everything does get difficult at times, and my life is mainly taken up by school, dance, and volunteer activities. I remember last semester, I was sick for nearly all of December and instead of taking a couple of days off when I was mildly sick, I kept on pushing myself and pushing myself until I got really really sick for a couple of weeks into winter break. I then started rearranging my time to have small breaks every day instead of pushing myself until I break then resting for 2 weeks.

    • April 24, 2020 by Andrea Garcia

      Hi Elizabeth! I am sorry to hear that you had to sacrifice so many activities and sleep time for school, but it is very impressive that you managed to be very optimistic within this situation and turn it into your favor!

  2. April 24, 2020 by Tori

    Love all the work put into it. Will definitely be using the spotify playlist

    • April 24, 2020 by Andrea Garcia

      Thanks Tori!

  3. April 26, 2020 by Natalia

    Hi Andrea! Great job with your presentation! I found the gender differences in the infographic that you included really interesting. Why do you think that women experience more stress with school?

    In terms of your prompts, there have definitely been moments when I have put my social life on the back burner for school, like canceling plans or not being able to hang out with my friends. I’ve also stayed up pretty late doing school work, but half of the time it’s my own fault because I decided to procrastinate instead. Procrastination is my main way of dealing with stress, however, it’s also the worst way because all it does is make myself feel worse. Usually I stress myself out so much that I finally start working on whatever I have to do.

    • April 27, 2020 by Andrea Garcia

      Hi Natalia! I agree I think most students struggle with procrastination most of the time when it comes to school ahahah. Regarding your question, I believe more women experience stress at school because I feel like I have read this somewhere, but naturally, more women are stressed compared to men, but honestly there could be many factors. What do you think?

  4. April 26, 2020 by Isabell

    Hello Andrea, I really liked your post and the infographics you chose. I also liked the videos you chose and how they approach the topic in different ways. I think for me I’ve definitely sacrificed sleep and interactions with other people for school. Balancing schoolwork with extracurricular activities is usually fine because I am able to do some homework during the day but if I fall behind I become very stressed and panic to try to get it back to normal. For me, I try to stay ahead of the work I have, and when I do fall behind try to take my time and really focus instead of rushing to get things done.

  5. April 27, 2020 by Andrea Garcia

    Thank you so much for your comment Isabell! It’s very smart of you to plan and work ahead of time to take some weight off your shoulders in the future. If you’re ever stressed check out the Spotify playlist!

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