Does De-Stress Week Really Do Its Job?

Amanda Sayegh

By Amanda Sayegh

As the school year progresses, the Hopkinton High School administration and staff organizes a “De-Stress Week” multiple times per year to try to help put an ease on the pressure and stress in the student’s lives, but the execution of the week may not be as effective as intended.

There are several organized events and activities that are put in place to lighten the mood during the school day, but many students and even staff  have to ask the question: are these activities really decreasing the stress in the student’s lives or does De-Stress week need to take a new approach?

There are many things that take place during the week, such as music in between every class period, ping pong, air hockey, foosball and other games during lunches, and daily Trivia Questions given by the different education departments. There was even a comfort dog that was brought in to the guidance office during lunches!

A group of HHS boys playing ping pong outside of the cafeteria during De-Stress Week. Photo By Amanda Sayegh
A group of HHS boys playing ping pong outside of the cafeteria during De-Stress Week.
Photo By Amanda Sayegh

Other events that were organized for De-Stress week took place after school hours. On Monday, beFREE hosted a Handball tournament in the Athletic Center at 6 p.m. A “Learn-to-Sew” workshop took place in the library at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, where staff members with sewing experience helped anyone that came to learn the basics and make something fun. On Wednesday, Ms. Odierna invited people to join her with “Coloring For Staff and Students” from 2-3 p.m. On Thursday, beFREE held a “Jam Session” on the patio behind the school at 2 p.m. It was all finished off with the 9th and 10th Grade Cotillion on Friday night at the school.

These events are all orchestrated for fun and entertainment, but the causes of the stress may still be present throughout the week.

“I do like how the dogs come in to guidance and the music between every class, but I feel like the real stress comes from homework, and since homework is not cut down during de-stress week, I don’t think most students feel less stressed” says HHS Senior Elise Carlson on the topic.

Carlson brings up a good point about the root of the stress in the student’s lives. The real stress comes from the homework given by teachers, so should the assignment load be lightened during the week as well? Many students and staff agree that stress comes from many places other than inside the walls of high school. Now we have to ask: what steps can the administration take to make this week more effective?