How is the Holiday Pressure Affecting Students?

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Holiday Cheer re-edited
Between buying gifts, setting up decorations, completing reports, and studying for tests, students certainly feel an increase in pressure during the holiday season, despite the cheer it brings. Photo taken by Olivia Eori.

By Olivia Eori
Many people, including students, cherish the holiday season and the fun that it brings; students, however, can feel added pressure during this season, and believe there is much less time to accomplish everything.

Students at Hopkinton High School are finding that this holiday season feels especially rushed. Expectations at school do not change just because it is the holiday season. As Danielle Crochiere, a senior, stated, “everything happens so quickly this time of year. I have just as much schoolwork to get done, but a lot less time because it’s the holidays”. Students are expected to stay on top of their work and maintain their grades, but they are also pressured to find time in their busy schedules to go holiday shopping. Even if students find themselves with a very low budget to go shopping with this year, many still feel an obligation to give gifts to their friends and family and participate in holiday festivities. Although feeling pressed for time is nothing new to most students, it is certainly increased during the holiday season.

Seniors in high school can especially believe that time is running out, because college admissions counselors will be taking into consideration the December progress report, as well as other grading periods, while deciding whether or not to accept students. During the holiday season, it is crucial for seniors submitting college applications to stay focused on their schoolwork. Senior Colleen Murray took note of the change this year, saying, “Even though, overall, I have less work than last year, the holidays feel like they’re coming faster. I think it’s especially because I’m a senior.” Seniors certainly have pressure coming from different sources than the underclassmen do, but increased pressure and stress during the holidays is mutual. Unfortunately, when work begins to pile up on students, many try to accomplish several tasks the night before the deadline.

For the students who plan all-night study sessions, sleep deprivation may be a common part of their lifestyle. Teenagers need more sleep than adults naturally, but as pressure from school and the holidays build, many students find that sleeping, while necessary, wastes valuable time that they need to complete projects or study for tests. Sleep deprivation is a serious problem, however, and over ninety percent of teenagers report receiving less than the recommended nine hours of sleep per day. A lack of sleep only increases during the holiday season when there appears to be less time to complete schoolwork and participate in one’s own holiday traditions. Not getting enough sleep, however, will hurt students long-term, making them more irritable and less productive. Therefore,  students should try using tips for better sleep if they believe they should be sleeping more. Overall, the holidays will always remain a time for celebrations; students just need to remember to stay focused and decrease their daily pressure to maximize the time they will have to spend enjoying themselves during this holiday season.

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