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Getting to Know Stress

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Parkside Middle School was a different place. A girl had skipped science class because of a school assembly. She was completing her assignment at lunch time, sprawled across the floor. She was highlighting a few areas as she looked up at her friends. Having mixed feelings, she started mumbling and scolding herself about not having her classwork done on time. She really disliked having late work, or needing to finish at lunch because it made her feel unprepared.


“How much time do I have left?” she suddenly asked as she looked up from her work.


“About 7 minutes, Tanya, ” her friend, Zoe replied. Wile she stuffed her lunch in her mouth, she also fed her friend some of her lunch in a desperate attempt to finish.


When they had both finished chewing Tanya asked why Zoe went to the doctor.


“I had an IV,” the girl’s friend, Zoe said.


“Really, why?” Tanya exclaimed in horror.


“Because I had high blood pressure. I told you, remember!” Zoe said with a hint of exasperation in her voice.
“No, I thought you said something else,” Tanya cried, at the disbelief that her friend had a high blood pressure at such a young age. When the lunch bell rang, the possible causes of high blood pressure swirled through her head.


As she rushed to packed up and walked to her next class, her palms sweaty from anxiety and holding the index cards. Tanya’s breath rate increased as she grabbed her friend’s hand and said,
“Oh my gosh!!!! I’m so nervous. I can’t do this.”


“It’s okay you’ll be fine. Just relax. Good luck,” said Andie. Tanya purposely made her steps a little slower as she tried to study her index cards. Unfortunately she was so nervous she couldn’t read at all.


Tanya seemed to be moving in slow motion as she locked eyes with Andie one more time and stepped into the classroom.


Tanya’s face went pale as she started freaking out. She sat right next to Delani on the same chair and started freaking out. Tanya took her rightful seat as the class began. The teacher began to explain how things would be run, but Tanya’s ears seemed like they were filled with cotton. Everything around her seemed blurry and almost surreal. Tanya couldn't believe she was about to give her presentation in front of the whole class.


Stress in academics is a huge issue in many areas and several people are affected by it. All aspects of a person’s life including physical health, emotions, behaviors, and the ability to think can be seriously affected. Some symptoms of stress include headaches, nervousness, frequent cold and infections, and of course high blood pressure. Tension also increases use of alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes. (WebMD)


But it gets worse, long term stress can have a lasting effect on a person’s body. Being anxious for a long time can result in mental problems such as depression, anxiety, and personality changes. Stress is also the cause of many physical diseases heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.


Many many adults go through stress and realize that they cannot handle it, but many people don't know that children also go through a lot of stress in school, and in extra curricular activities. Stress that builds up in school can have terrible effects on children in the future (Web MD).


However, there is some evidence that stress is actually helpful. In a scientific study at UC Berkeley, rats were exposed to some short term stress, and after two weeks, their memory significantly improved. Stress may or may not be effective in boosting the immune system, scientists are still unsure of this because there is no way to monitor neural stem cells (Shanna Lebowitz).


Small doses of stress can be very helpful. Stress can actually motivate you to meet your goal, accomplish tasks more efficiently, and help boost memory. Small amounts of stress can actually help your immune system. Stress is what allows you to think in fight or flight situations and is a vital warning (The Jed Foundation).


In conclusion, in little doses stress can be beneficial, however, large doses and long term stress can be harmful to one’s health. In schools all around America, children go through large amounts of stress that begin early in the child’s life and can last until retirement. Stress is the source of many diseases people have. Tanya, the girl that was stressed at the beginning actually did a pretty good job.


Tanya went up in front of the class and started presenting her current events presentation. She started to get the flow of presenting even though she made a couple of mistakes.


As Tanya finished up and took her seat, Mrs. Byrne showed Tanya her score. It was decent, not bad, average.
While the next person was presenting their current events Tanya though about how glad she was that she finished and tried to simply enjoy the next presentations to come.



CITATIONS
Lebowitz, Shana. "Why a Little Bit of Stress Is Good For You | Greatist." Greatist, 18 Apr. 2013. Web. 8 Nov. 2016.
"Stress Symptoms: Effects of Stress on the Body." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2016.
"Good Stress, Bad Stress - ULifeline." Good Stress, Bad Stress - ULifeline. The Jed Foundation, n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2016.




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