The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

FHNtoday.com

The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

FHNtoday.com

The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

FHNtoday.com

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FHN Student Athletes Face Struggles With Mental Health and Stress

FHN+Student+Athletes+Face+Struggles+With+Mental+Health+and+Stress
Credit to Jordan Ousley

 “I’m so overwhelmed from balancing school and sports,” sophomore Camyrn Portell said. “I go straight from school, to sports, to homework. I never get a break. I get 5-6 hours of sleep. I go to bed late, wake up early. Some people ask: ‘What about the weekends?’ I still have homework and sports over the weekend too. So basically I never get a physical or mental/emotional break. And it takes a real toll on my body.”

Many student-athletes struggle to get work done and play their sport. Sometimes students are up really late or ending practices late. So it can be really hard to complete all their homework. Not getting homework done can stress athletes out, which will end up affecting their school and physical performance. 

“Their self-esteem and self-worth are determined by their playing time, ranking and success on the field,” Danielle Vallas of Serving & Accrediting Independent Schools (SAIS) said. “Student-athletes are under tremendous pressure as they are constantly evaluated by coaches, scouts, teammates, and rival teams.”  

Student-athletes aren’t just affected by school. Sports are also a big thing. If they aren’t doing well in their sport it’s most likely to affect their performance. With so many expectations, they can’t always do everything. In both school and sports.  

“Most nights I feel overwhelmed,” senior Drake Morris said. “Expectations are put on me in my sport every day that I need to meet or my placement on the team will be challenged, the stress from that is then brought straight from the court to home due to me needing to get right to work on class work. Sometimes the workload feels like too much and I’ll fall behind, and it’s hard to catch back up in one thing without falling back in another.” 

A survey that some FHN athletes participated in reported that 0 percent of students surveyed said they weren’t stressed. 82.6 percent of all students surveyed said that they were falling behind in school. Over 75 percent of people surveyed said they go to bed after 11. That’s only about 45 hours of sleep a week. 56.5 percent of people surveyed said they weren’t satisfied with their grades. 82.6 percent of people surveyed said that their sport affects their school performance. 39.15 percent of students surveyed said that their teachers don’t understand their responsibilities. 

“Teachers should give us longer due dates on homework, or even not assign so much in just one week,” sophomore Lily Divine said. “But at the same time, it has taught me how to manage my time, but I would like some of my life back. “

A big risk of being a student-athlete is the time commitment away from school. Sports such as golf miss many school days because their tournaments take place during school. Missing days from school can lead to homework building up which can cause even more stress to the athlete. Some athletes have to compete even over the weekend which limits their free time even further. Luckily, many teachers are aware of the stress of the student-athletes and have systems in place to help them. 

“I’d say being respectful of my students’ time rather than necessarily their stress levels,” Hollenbeck Middle School teacher Alan Beeson said. “I don’t like it when students are stressed, but I also feel that I can’t control if a student is stressed or not. Some students stress when it is not necessary. I do think that homework should be reasonable and students’ mental health is important. However, rather than removing stressors, I think more effort should be put into teaching students to deal with stress. Stress is part of life and I think removing anything that is stressful sets up students for failure later in life.”

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