Ways to Overcome Stress for Students: Strategies for Well-Being

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Updated: Jun 17, 2023
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“The term “Stress” refers to the psychological state which derives from the person’s appraisal of the success with which he or she can adjust to the demands of the social environment.” (Vattano, 1978). Stress is a common factor in the lives of every person, no matter of race or culture. Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand. It can be caused by both good and bad experiences. When people feel stressed by something going on around them, their bodies react by releasing chemicals into the blood.

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Stress causes a surge of hormones in your body. “When your body detects stress, a small region in the base of the brain called the hypothalamus reacts by stimulating the body to produce hormones that include adrenaline and cortisol.” (BBC Science, 2013). Everyone needs a certain amount of stress or pressure to live well. It’s what gets you out of bed in the morning and motivates you throughout the day. However, stress becomes problematic when there’s too much or too little. Though stress is often perceived as bad, it can actually be good in some respects. The right kind of stress can sharpen the mind and reflexes. It might be able to help the body perform better or help you escape a dangerous situation. Stress is any situation that evokes negative thoughts and feelings in a person. Stressful events can be appraised by “Challenging” or “threatening” situations. (Lazarus, 1966).

When it comes to academics, there are many factors as to 17 factors of stress. (Anderson, E D. and Cole, Bettie S, 1988). “The new environment may bring challenges related to learning, concentration, developing interpersonal relationships, and decision-making regarding the choice of subjects and career. A new environment means new relationships, and it is obvious that one experiences stress as one has to readjust to their life. In the process of adjusting to different circumstances, stress may help or hinder depending on how one reacts to it.” (Puri, Kaur, Yadav, 2016). This paper will discuss how the term “stress” is different between students taking advanced placement compared to a student taking regular or honors classes. However, there is way more than class level that contributes to stress in students. The purpose of this paper is to explain why advanced placement classes bring more stress to students. “Stress is the most undermined syndrome in our society that is neglected since the element of mental health associated with it.” (Kalli, 2018) Excessive stress could lead to psychological problems such as depression and anxiety. This paper will discuss whether or not Advanced Placement classes affect the mental health of a student in high school or college. This topic has not been discussed prior to this paper. However, there are many sources based on the stress that affects students. I predict that many students will find that the stress they suffer will be due to the work they receive in Advanced Placement classes.

Literature Review

Undergraduates (high school students) see college as stressful because it is a big change from high school. According to Bhujade (2017), “For others, separation from home is a source of stress. Although some source of stress is necessary for personal growth to occur, the amount of pressure to do well, whether the demands come from parents or the stress, can overwhelm a student and affect the ability to cope.” (p.1). The statement shows how not only does college differ from high school in a big way, but leaving home is a huge stress factor. Some of the salient problems specific to college students are the time to the psychological state, which derives from the person’s appraisal college students of 100 medical students, it was found 26% have inventory. The colleges should encourage a warm and effective learning environment for students. Support and mentoring are required so that stress can be identified early and dealt with appropriately. Singh (2016) agrees by saying, “Adolescents are more prone to stress; because they are undergoing a transformation in terms of physical, mental and social changes which make them over-conscious about themself.” (p.3). A cross-institutional study found stress at the top of health problems that worried students most, followed by body image, AIDS, physical fitness, and cancer.

Maajida, Vishnu, and Gayathri (2018) agree with Bhujade (2017) by stating, “For many young adults, school is the best time of life. These critical years can also be undermined by depression, anxiety, and stress.” (p.1). However, it states, “The major source of stress includes; change in sleeping habits, vacation, and breaks, change in eating habits, increased workload, and new responsibilities.” (Maajida et al. 2018) (p.2). The statement shows that not only does mental health affect stress, but responsibilities and new lifestyles with habitats. Elevated stress levels among students can result in decreased performance in academic accomplishments and can affect both the physical and mental health of students. Elevated stress levels among students can result in decreased performance in academic accomplishments and can affect both the physical and mental health of students. Therefore, studies on coping with stress will have a significant impact on higher education. The various methods to reduce stress often include time management, social support, positive reappraisal, and engagement in leisure. However, both Bhujade (2017) and Maajida et al. (2018) agree with the statement, “Higher education is a stressful period in students’ life which they need to cope with due to various reasons such as living away from their families, heavy syllabus, and inefficiency in higher education programs.” (p.2).

However, Thanh (2016) states, “They provide the opportunities to uncover the influence of Vietnamese culture on occupational stress experienced by women in the academic field, the opportunities to compare to the Vietnamese women’s experience and perception of occupational stress with that of their counterparts in other cultures.” (p.1). This emphasizes that Cultural relationships are considered as the stress experienced by Vietnamese academic women, as they impact work relationships. Occupational stress at work declines for Vietnamese academic women as they advance in age, experience, rank, and qualification. However, Amr, El Gilany, and El-Hawary (2008) refute this claim by stating, “The medical students of a particular institute in Egypt shows that there is no significant difference of perceived stress between the male and female students.” (p.6). Showing that gender has nothing to do with stress and that depression and mental health is a massive factors in academic stress. Stress becomes an integral part of human life. Anything that creates a challenge or a threat to our comfort is stress. All kind of stress is not considered to be bad because it helps people to perform well. In academics, stress is unavoidable among students, and it in?uences students’ performance in all academic activities. Academic stress plays a major role in determining the mental health of students. On the other hand, Amr et al. (2008) agree with Maajida et al. (2018) and Bhujade (2017) on how students feel stressed when they are arriving to college.

Every day, we are confronted with problems. When we are confronted with a problem, we must determine the seriousness of the problem and determine whether or not we have the resources necessary in order to cope with the problem. If we believe that the problem is serious, and we also believe that we do not have the resources necessary to cope with the problem, we will perceive ourselves as being under stress. When your child is overwhelmed or frustrated by homework, it makes it harder for him or her to complete assignments. This can cause a stressful cycle where homework piles up, and your child doesn’t have the time or energy to complete it all, leading to even more stress. According to Reddy, Reddy, Reddy (2014), school is one of the main sources of stress among adolescents. Such stress comes from too much homework, unsatisfactory academic performance, preparation for tests, lack of interest in a particular subject, and teacher’s punishment. Although attending college is generally viewed as a positive experience, it sometimes involves a stressful period of adaptation for students coming from high school. This does agree with what Bhujade (2017), especially when Reddy et al. (2014) state, “College students face a variety of challenges as they transition from high school to higher education. This transition signifies a crossroads between adolescence and adulthood, a period of passage between the old and the new, and between relationships of the past and relationships of the present.” (p.2). Furthermore, according to Reddy et al. (2014) results, it appears that most students suffer from personal and academic stress. Academics receive more “Yes” answers than “No” in categories such as Increased workload, Change of Major, a Lower grade than anticipated, etc. (chart on p.4-5). Murff (2005) agrees with Reddy et al. (2014) by stating, “Second, because of the pressure of studies, there is the strain placed on interpersonal relationships.” (p.1). This also makes Murff (2005) agree with Bhujade (2017) and Maajida et al. (2018) by also stating, “First, students have to make significant adjustments to college life…. Third, housing arrangements and changes in lifestyle contribute to the stress experienced by college students.” (p.1). Students in college experience stress related to academic requirements, support systems, and ineffective coping skills. Whether it’s advanced-level classes or the amount of studying required, a heavy workload can be a major source of stress for students. This is especially common for older high school students as they start making their post-secondary plans.

However, Madnani and Pradhan (2015) argue against this and say that parenting affects academic stress. By having a parent lay pressure on them to succeed, a child can feel less inspired and more threatened. The academic demands increase with every year of high school. Even if kids have made great strides in middle school, they know the work will get more challenging. They’ll be so paralyzed by fear of not doing well that they won’t actually learn and succeed like they otherwise would. Too much pressure to do well in school can cause kids to do unethical things. For instance, a child who has been told that they must get all A’s on their report card could feel pressured to cheat on an exam or assignment in order to fulfill that obligation. Studies have consistently documented that children and adolescents who are raised in families who practice the authoritative parenting style perform better in school compared to those who are raised in families in which other types of parenting styles are adopted. “Positive parenting practices may act as a resource to meet out academic stress of adolescents by developing self-efficacy, self-confidence, optimism, and hope among them.” (p.3). Developmental psychologists have long been interested in how behaviors of parents affect children. It is difficult to find which action of a parent produces any specific type of behavior in a child.

Anderson and Bettie (1988) agree with the factor of parental pressure stated by Madnani and Pradhan (2015). Parents give their children many expectations when it comes to their education. Wanting quality grades, superb test scores, and accomplishments can take a toll on a student’s health. Students deal with homework for mostly every class, projects every quarter of the semester, or have many quiz answers to study and remember. Parental expectations play a vital role in a child’s academic and future performance. Parents have expectations for their children’s accomplishments related to education that influence their children’s expectations and attainment, and early expectations of continuing the whole time the child’s school years.
The students’ stress levels are even more when their parents want to push them even more. Mishra (2018) agrees by talking about how a child is very stressed because of his parent’s high increasing and decreasing academic performance. Expectations. They feel how they will face his parents if he does not perform up to the parent’s expectations. “The pressure of parents for expectations creates a high degree of anxiety in many students, especially in those who are unable to perform at a level that matches the potential they have shown in less stressful situations. Their expectations sometimes provoke stress in their children and influence their academic achievement.” (p.5).

However, Khan, Altaf, and Kausar (2013) state that “students reported their experience of high academic stress at predictable times in each semester which results from preparing and taking exams, class ranking competition, and mastering huge amount of syllabus in a comparatively very small amount of time.” (p.3). Moreover, stress in students will most likely increase at the end of the semester than at the beginning of the semester. This is due to the end-of-the-year projects and assignments that a student doesn’t enjoy due to having personal plans for their break. Also, this increases more in younger students because they have more years until they graduate, resulting in more work. Moreover, Ray, Halder, and Goswami (2012) agree with this by talking about how sources of academic stress may be life events or chronic strains related to programs and workloads. Moreover, Hj Ramli, Alavi, Mehrinezhad, and Ahmadi (2018) agree with both Ray et al. (2012) and Khan et al. (2013) that stress in education is affected by the workload and pressure from grades. Furthermore, Hj Ramli et al. (2018) give how to overcome this negative factor by stating, “Numerous approaches can be employed to overcome stress, such as self-regulation and mindful-based intervention programs.” (p.2).

Stankovska, Dimitrovski, Angelkoska, Ibraimi, Uka (2018) talk about how test anxiety affects stress in students’ mindsets. Uka et al. (2018) say, “Test anxiety is prevalent among the student population of higher education. Students who experience test anxiety tend to be easily distracted during a test, experience difficulty with simple instructions, and have trouble organizing or recalling relevant information. (p.2). Showing that anxiety from exams can make a student feel nervous or stressed due to worrying about their score. However, Bernstein and Chemaly (2017) disagree with the results of their research on how females have more stress than males in an educated environment. (p.7). On the contrary, the study only shows 89 males compared to 217 females.
Method Research Method

“Research methods should perhaps be categorized by data collection technique, as it makes more sense than if research methods are labeled as qualitative or quantitative.” (Chu and Ke, 2017). For this research study, I will be employing the mixed research method. “The use of mixed methods is most suitable when a quantitative or qualitative approach, by itself, is inadequate to develop multiple perspectives and a complete understanding about a research problem or question.” (Klassen, Creswell, Plano, Smith, Meissner, 2012). Utilizing the mixed method allows the researchers to examine the causes that participants impute to their actions and behavior with others.

“The research method associated with both quantitative and qualitative research have their own strengths and weaknesses so that combing them allows the researcher to offset their weaknesses to draw on the strengths of both.” (Bryman, 2016).


A total of thirty-four high school students participated in this questionnaire in order to gather the necessary information. The participants that partook in and completed the survey were anonymous. The survey was sent to Facebook through a link from the webpage where the survey was created. All the participants in the inquiry were 15 or older.


For my research, I used a computer to create my survey. Also, I used Survey Monkey to send out my surveys to the participants via a web link. Moreover, for this study, I used the ERIC database, EBSCOhost database, and google for my background information. The digital copy of the survey included one page titled “Stress in AP and Honors classes,” followed by 10 open closed-ended, and open-ended questions. I added mostly closed-ended questions because I wanted the participants to answer the questionnaire without asking themselves whether or not their answers would work with the survey.


The process of this research and survey was lengthy but not challenging. At the beginning of the class, AP Research, I had to focus on getting a research question. My first question was whether or not computer science was beneficial to students. However, the topic was too simple, and many people have discussed it, so I decided to change it to a comparative study on the stress on students in AP classes compared to other classes. I chose this topic because I have seen many students become stressed or have a hard time with their AP classes, and I wondered what other students around the nation feel about this. Then, I look for sources for my topic on Ebscohost, Eric, and Google. After, I went onto Facebook to join groups on the topic and send my survey. Furthermore, I created a ten-questioned survey with useful questions that would supply me with the information and results needed. The first 3 questions were to know about the participant, while the rest of the questions were on the topic and how the applicant dealt with stress. Once the survey was finished, I sent a link to the groups I joined and waited for the results. Finally, once the results came in, I added the information to my study.

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Ways to Overcome Stress for Students: Strategies for Well-Being. (2023, Jun 17). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/ways-to-overcome-stress-for-students-strategies-for-well-being/