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Students share ways to cope with stress

Holly Viers • Dec 29, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Students of all ages experience stress, but their ways of dealing with it vary greatly.

While some turn to school counselors or other older mentors, others prefer to manage it on their own or with the support of their peers. Regardless, there are many resources out there to help students recognize their stress and keep it under control.

Do schools have adequate resources to help students with stress?

The Times News spoke with several local students to find out how their schools help with stress. Most students said their school has some resources, but not many students said they took advantage of them.

“I know ETSU has a counseling service and a tutoring center,” said Addie Collier, a sophomore at East Tennessee State University. “I have never used them, but I feel they could (be) and are beneficial.”

Jasmine Schmidt, a senior at Dobyns-Bennett High School, said she feels her school has improved with helping students manage stress.

“We do have a good counseling system somewhat,” Schmidt said. “It’s progressed more this year because of the amount of suicides we had last year in our school. I guess that’s what woke them up that they need to reach out to the kids. I guess they’re doing better with reaching out.”

Tiara Hughes, an eighth grade student at John Sevier Middle School, said she has used counseling services at her school and believes they are helpful. Still, she believes more could be done.

“I feel like it needs to be addressed more, because some kids with stress, it can lead to suicide because they’re not talking to anyone about it and they just hold it all in,” Hughes said. “That’s not a really good thing to do, and with all these tests and stuff happening, it just gets worse and worse and they don’t know who to talk to.”

How do students manage stress on their own?

Students named a number of ways that they manage stress on a personal level. An anonymous senior at Daniel Boone High School believes sports are a good way to relax and “distract yourself” from stress; Hughes and Schmidt also mentioned physical activity as one of their biggest stress-relievers.

Collier and Micah Turner, a freshman at Sullivan Central High School, both said they rely on their faith to get them through stressful situations. Turner added that his family and his coaches are also good resources.

For Kristin Thorneloe, a senior at Dobyns-Bennett, finding a “family” of peers in school is crucial to keeping stress and loneliness at bay. While Thorneloe has her band family, she said there are countless other groups students can join to make new friends and establish a support system.

“That’s definitely helpful, especially for freshmen, because it can be scary during lunchtime (when you) have no one to sit with. For us, the band room is where you go when you don’t have anywhere else to go,” Thorneloe said. “I think it starts in high school, but I think once you’re out in the workplace and stuff, there’s not really anything like that. So it’s a cool thing that happens.”