By Johanna Fleischman
Stress: the feeling that makes you want to punch an innocent freshman in the face, otherwise known as a state of mental tension resulting from demanding situations. Summer: the warmest season of the year in the northern hemisphere, resulting in trips to the beach and tanning in the sun. Summer sounds like a perfect time to steam off the stress that has accumulated during the school year, right? Well, it is.
Many teenagers in today’s society attempt to fulfill too many commitments, stress over relationships, or study for too many hours. This leads to the familiar experience of burnout. Long-term stress causes this physical and emotional exhaustion that, over time, results in poorer performance. Basically, if students participate in school for too many weeks without a break, their performance decreases in the long run.
Currently, teenagers are stressed by the pressure from their peers, the pressure to consume alcohol, and the pressure to support friends. However, school increases this strain due to the amount of work burdened upon them by their teachers, and the difficulty of college acceptances nationwide. College applications are virtually forcing students to engage in myriad extracurricular, athletic, and academic activities to even be considered.
That is why it is necessary for schools to implement the much-anticipated summer break, and also winter and spring breaks. This is the prime time for students to recharge their brains and feel relief from their stresses.
According to A Journal of Travel Research, traveling helps people escape their everyday burdens and enjoy a rejuvenating experience in a separate environment. In fact, relieving and avoiding stress is not only beneficial in the short-term, but also aids in helping the person deal with stress in the future.
Although students can help themselves while they are in school by prioritizing their workloads, sleeping an adequate number of hours, and taking short relaxation breaks, living this disciplined lifestyle can be hard to maintain. The mind can best prepare itself for a new year of school by giving itself a well-deserved rest.
The need for students to experience vacation breaks lasts into adulthood as well. Adults require as much timeoff as teenagers. On bnet.com, the CBS interactive business network, studies demonstrate that at least 44% of adults want to get out of town once the school year has ended, and these numbers dramatically increase for those adults who are financially able to do so. Whether money is available to travel to Hawaii or whether a walk to the creek sounds more appealing, never forget: leaving behind the workloads and demands of everyday life is a necessity to attain good mental health.
So before the headaches, the helplessness and the hostility of a burnout begin, teachers and students alike should fully relax during the precious months of bliss, rightfully named Summer Vacation.