Stress roams the halls of FHC


As you walk through the halls, you can see students stressing out. You can hear the tremble in their voices as they talk about the test that they are dreading to take; you can feel the anxiousness radiating from them.

These students are not a rare encounter at FHC or at any high school. According to Pew Research Center, 96% of teens see anxiety and depression as a problem among their peers.

Senior Noah Wolff is one of the many high schoolers that thinks that poor mental health and overwhelming amounts of stress is a serious issue. While stress from a big project or an upcoming test is usually gone after it is over with, the memory of the stress does not go away so easily. 

“I have seen stress get the best of some people,” Noah said. “Some of my classmates get overloaded with stress, and they do not know how to deal with it. I have even seen some of my friends give up on their passions because they do not think they could handle the stress of a larger college, so they are just planning on going to places like GRCC or a trade school.” 

Senior Jessica Hurbanis plans on going to a larger college, but she still feels the uneasiness that Noah’s friends do. 

 “The stress terrifies me for college because it only gets harder after [high school] I’ve heard,” Jessica said. “I don’t really have the best study habits, I never really figured that out, and I need to because in a couple [of] months, I won’t be living at home; I’ll be living on campus.”

According to Pew Research Center, 96% of teens see anxiety and depression as a problem among their peers.

Noah is not a stranger to this stress, and with college just around the corner, many fears have arisen. 

“For me, the stress this year is not as bad as [in] previous years, but it is still there,” Noah said. “During my junior year, there [were] times where I would fall very behind in my classes because I was so stressed. It was to the point where for many weeks I had to make my first priority just de-stressing myself, and I, unfortunately, can see similar things happening once I start college; I do not think I will be able to afford to take the time to de-stress myself while I am in college and that honestly scares me quite a bit.”

Thankfully, teachers understand the stress of their students to some extent. While not every teacher will put in the extra step to help with their students’ stress, there are a few who do.

For Jessica, one of those teachers was former history teacher Christopher McClees.

“McClees, up until last year when he retired, would always make jokes,” Jessica said. “That helped because it made [the] class less serious in the room, and it made it more laid back.” 

For Noah, the teacher that always helped him was Media Communications teacher Jeff Manders.

“Manders has taken me aside a few times to just talk to me and see how I was doing, and that has really helped me,” Noah said. “It is a great feeling to know that there are adults out there, other than just my parents, who care about my well-being.”

For junior Caleb Scholtens, there has not been any specific teacher that has made an impact on the reduction of his stress, but his peers at Forest Hills Northern High School have.

“When I first started going to Northern for their STEM program I was pretty nervous and very stressed out,” Caleb said. “I already had a few friends there, but none of them were in STEM. After only a week of going to the school, I met so many kind people, and they were always checking up on me to make sure I was doing okay, especially since I was in a new environment. If it was not for my classmates in STEM, I would have had a very rough first year in the program, and I do not think I would have been likely to continue pursuing my education in that unique setting.”

Caleb’s classmates have left him with a new mission: he hopes that he can reciprocate all the kindness he has received to his classmates at FHC.

“STEM is a closer community than most of FHC, and that is mostly because it is a smaller group of people, but I do not think it has to stay that way,” Caleb said.”Recently, I have been taking a little bit more time out of my day to check in on not only my friends but also classmates who I may not know as well. It’s a simple way of making someone’s day a little better, but it is truly a great feeling to help out others and let them know that they can have someone to lean on.”