Students are constantly searching for a solution to combat stress, nerves, schedule management, and sleep deprivation. These are common, but not unimportant, issues that affect high school students nationally.
All Saints’ has been extensively focused on student wellbeing lately. A partnership with Challenge Success, a program designed at Stanford University to reduce student stress and increase student wellbeing, has helped give insight on this important topic that has not previously been thoroughly addressed at our School.
According to the data gathered last year about All Saints’ Upper School students by Challenge Success surveys:
- 56% of students reported that a stress-related health problem or emotional problem caused them to miss more than one day of school in the last month
- 58% responded that a stress-related health problem or emotional problem caused them to miss a social, extracurricular, or recreational activity more than once in past month
- 45% of students surveyed experienced exhaustion, headaches, and difficulty sleeping in the past month
What are we going to do about the fact that a majority of our students are experiencing these issues? Students like Katherine DeBerry ’20 are making efforts to increase student, parent, and teacher awareness about these daily struggles.
DeBerry was one of the All Saints’ students who traveled to Stanford for a Challenge Success Seminar. When asked about the most valuable information she learned at Stanford, she responded, “We need to allow time for our changes. Some of the schools we met with had spent years putting plans and programs together, and that was shocking to me. I came into the program thinking that we were going to get a lot done in a short amount of time, so it was very important that I learned to have patience and understand that things aren’t going to be perfect right away.”
Additionally, DeBerry is using the Challenge Success movement to work toward implementing a more stress-free environment at All Saints’.
“We have been talking a lot about [ways we can help] reduce stress. Now that Margaret Dunlap has spoken to students, faculty, parents, and administrators, we will be able to work together to carry out a few ideas.”
The goals of the student Challenge Success club are to:
- Create empathy about stress among the All Saints’ community
- Design and hang posters around the Upper School which encourage discussion about Challenge Success, balance, and places that students can go to de-stress
- Celebrate National Sleep Week and Mental Health Awareness Week in the Spring
- Continue to brainstorm more ideas to reduce stress
For ideas on how to apply Challenge Success’ ideas to your own life, take some advice from DeBerry, who has started to incorporate a lot of the things she has learned from Challenge Success in her daily life by reducing screen time and increasing sleep time. She is also trying to become more mindful by setting out a part of her night to meditate and reflect on the day. Lastly, she is reevaluating her schedule and trying to cut out any unnecessary stress.
Challenge Success cannot operate effectively without student participation. DeBerry and the Challenge Success Club are striving toward more student involvement, especially from freshmen and seniors. The Club, led by Katherine DeBerry ’20, and Jaelan Price ’19, only meets the first Wednesday of every month in order to allow participants to attend other clubs they enjoy as well.
If you are ready to see changes and more focus on stress reduction, join the Challenge Success Club and start incorporating their insightful ideas into your own life!