I Can’t Stress This Enough…


Lily Kagle, Staff Writer, Photo Editor

Stress is a normal human phenomenon that happens to everyone at least a few times in their life. When you experience challenges or changes, your body produces physical and mental responses. Stress can come in many ways, shapes, and forms. Humans use all sorts of methods to solve their own stress or anxiety caused by stress. Stress can cause the body to do different things and can cause people to act abnormally. Although most people may think stress is bad, it is the complete opposite. Stress can be positive by keeping us alert, motivated and ready for any danger. This is Stress.

When you have stress, it can control all parts of your body including your heart rate, breathing, vision impairments, and more. When someone has long term stress, their body starts to develop physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. Physical symptoms that develop over this period can involve aches and pains, including chest pain, exhaustion or trouble sleeping, headaches, fatigue or shaking, muscle tension, stomach or digestive problems, and a weak immune system. Emotional changes or symptoms are anxiety, irritability, depression, panic attacks and sadness. Often when someone is stressed, they try to manage it in unhealthy ways and behaviors. Some examples of unhealthy management of stress are drinking, gambling, developing an eating disorder, shopping, or internet browsing, smoking, and using drugs. There are obviously better ways to handle or take care of your stress. Some of these ways are exercising, taking a moment to think about what you have accomplished daily, setting goals to accomplish, and considering talking to a therapist or a trusted adult.

A few days ago, I interviewed two of my friends regarding their thoughts and stresses about going back to school. Sophie Penix, 14, and Sophia Cordero, 14. Sophie recently changed from Huntingtown High School to Calvert High School. Here are 8 questions I discussed with these two people.

1) What is your opinion about going back to school?

“I think we should go back to school, but precautions should be taken.” Sophia said.

“I have mixed emotions. I am nervous because I have not been to school in a while, and I am concerned about everyone’s health. If all precautions are being followed, then I am excited to go back. Even though we are not getting the same social interaction it will be nice to be in the classroom.” Sophie described.

“I can agree. I am excited about going back but I am not excited to wear a mask for hours at a time.” I said as I gave my feedback.

2) How would you rate your stress level on a scale of 1-10?

“I’d say at any given time it is a 3 but depending on the amount of schoolwork it can increase.” Sophia answered.

“I would rate it a 5 out of 10” Sophie replied.

3) How do you calm yourself down when you are stressed?

“Usually, I just relax by listening to music and drawing” Sophia commented.

“I usually try to reassure myself that everything is going to be fine. If it is something I have control over like schoolwork, I will plan around everything I have to do and that calms me down. If it is something, I can’t do anything about then I would distract myself by watching Netflix or YouTube” Sophie says.

4) What are some main causes of your stress?

“Almost all my stress Is caused by schoolwork, but a portion of it is also caused by political environment in America” Sophia says

“I can completely relate and understand” I said.

“Usually, schoolwork and finding all my classes at once. Then since quarantine I have had a lot of time to think about my future. What college I want to go to or what I want to study? Those things give me stress the most, but sometimes things on the news or what is going on in the world in general stresses me out, too” Sophie replied.

5) What does stress do to your body?

“Stress causes me to be sore, to be tired and makes me lose my appetite.” Sophia said.

“I have not had such stress that takes a huge toll on my body but sometimes stress makes it really difficult to fall asleep or I get distracted during class thinking about the things I need to do. I think I have fairly good mental health, but it definitely is not as good as it was before quarantine.” Sophie acknowledged.

6) Who affects your stress?

“My stress is negatively affected by those teachers who assign me a lot of work but is made better when I talk to friends and family.” Sophia responded.

“My parents are really good at reassuring me about everything, but sometimes I get stressed by not wanting to disappoint people. In general, I keep a lot of things I’m stressed about to myself.” Sophie said.

7) How do you not get stressed?

“I take a lot of breaks in between my class work and make sure to make time for doing things I enjoy” Sophia said.

“I like to tell myself that in the future I will be laughing about this kind of stuff and it won’t really matter. When I get stressed I kind of get into this state of mind where if I do not do this then this won’t happen, and my life will be ruined. I find I get pretty uptight, so I like to tell myself to relax and go with the flow” Sophie said.

8) What is the most stressful thing that has happened in your life?

“The most stressful thing I can really remember is the first few months of COVID when we did not really know what was happening.” Sophia said.

“The most stressful thing that has happened in my life was probably when my dog passed away in May last year. Usually when somebody in my family is stressed, it is only one of us. But when we had to make the decision to put her down everybody was just afraid of making the wrong choice. Seeing your parents cry when they never do it is a kind of stress you can’t explain.” Sophie said.

“I can understand that especially when we had to put Mango, my bird, down.” I spoke.

Through this interview, we have learned many things about stress what it can do to our bodies, how we cannot stress out in tough situations, and more.

Stress can do a lot of negative things to you and your body, but it can also be a positive, in terms of keeping you alert and keeping you focused.



*Facts creditsCleveland Clinic *

*Interviewed– Sophie Penix, 9th grader at Calvert and Sophia Cordero, 9th grader at Huntingtown High School