High Stress, Low Spirit

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High Stress, Low Spirit

Sangeet Brar understands the internal struggle we all have when heading to homeroom.

Sangeet Brar understands the internal struggle we all have when heading to homeroom.

Sharada Saraf

Sangeet Brar understands the internal struggle we all have when heading to homeroom.

Sharada Saraf

Sharada Saraf

Sangeet Brar understands the internal struggle we all have when heading to homeroom.

Sharada Saraf, Opinions Editor

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You walk into homeroom, bleary eyed from the want of sleep and tired from the last two class periods. Exhausted, you can’t help but want to take a nap during the announcements. Your homeroom teacher and representatives stand in front of the classroom, hopelessly and frustratedly trying to raise enough enthusiasm for the next drive, but looking around, it is clear that everyone is just as tired as you are. Enthusiasm? School spirit? That’s last on your list – below standardized tests, extracurriculars, college applications and your GPA.

Presentation has a problem with school spirit. And it’s a problem to the point of embarrassment. For years, we have been compared to schools like Archbishop Mitty and Bellarmine, and mocked because of our comparative lack of energy. Many ASB candidates make school spirit their platform for running, enthusiastically–and somewhat naively–promising to make the next year more spirited than the last.

It is undoubtedly a tough task getting exhausted and academically stressed girls to get excited about another drive or another activity, no matter how noble the cause. During A-day smackdowns, the lack of participation and the steadily increasing desperation of Panther Pride leaders’ pleas to do activities in the courtyard speaks volumes about the vacuum which has replaced school spirit.

Why aren’t we more spirited than other schools? Why do Panther Pride officers have such a tough job garnering enthusiasm for events? It all boils down to one thing: Stress. According to the stress survey we took earlier this year, Pres girls’ stress levels are far higher than the national average. Students do anywhere from 3.15 and 4.28 hours of homework every night – with numbers like that, it’s clear that there is a strong connection between homework load, stress, and school spirit.

“I’m tired all the time,” says junior Purnima Seshadri. “So I never feel excited for school events. To be honest, with APs, honors classes, and the SAT to study for, school spirit is the last thing I’m worried about.” Seshadri’s sentiment is shared by many in the Pres community – while we may feel proud of our school, it just doesn’t translate into shouting, excitement, or participation during school events, drives, and even homeroom.

“I always feel bad for our reps because they work super hard, but people just don’t respond,” admits junior Josephine Chu. “Like, they’ll be asking for ideas and they’ll just get this grumble or moan from the class.” Clearly, stress has made us unenthusiastic, tired, and drained of school spirit.

While teachers, students, and the school are trying to find creative solutions to dealing with Presentation’s stress problem, it is clear that stress is affecting more aspects of Pres life than previously thought. The only way to bring spirit back to the school is solving for the way that students handle and experience stress. And if we do solve for it, then maybe Mitty and Bellarmine will have a worthy opponent at last.

 

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