The Student News Site of Kinnelon High School

Colt Chronicle

The Student News Site of Kinnelon High School

Colt Chronicle

The Student News Site of Kinnelon High School

Colt Chronicle

Mental Health Unnoticed

Parents and students alike are weighing on what is more important regarding students’ well-being and success.
Julia Mieczkowski
Sophomore Miriam Mesbeh, exhausted and unfocused, attends math lab to seek ways to raise her grade.

While academic achievement is vital for students, it is also essential for them to prioritize their mental health. Neglecting mental health can lead to burnout, anxiety, and depression, which can negatively impact academic performance and overall well-being.


In today’s society, there is immense pressure on students to perform well academically. Sargunjot Kaur at Sutter Health states, “Academic stress can derive from a desire for perfection, parental pressure, sports commitments or a heavy class load. (…) Many teens struggle to manage time well and tend to procrastinate, which leads to pressure.” From an early age, students are taught that good grades are essential to success due to pressure from parents, teachers, etc., allowing students to believe by default that anything less than perfection is unacceptable. However, this pressure to excel in academics can come at a great cost to their mental health. Students are often overworked, stressed, and sleep-deprived, leading to an increase in anxiety, depression, and feeling burnout. 


Prioritizing mental health is crucial for overall well-being. It’s important to understand that grades do not define a student’s worth or intelligence. Mental health plays a vital role in an individual’s ability to function effectively and lead a fulfilling life. According to Inside Higher Ed, “70 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds surveyed believe anxiety and depression to be a major problem among their peers. (…) The pressure to get good grades is the most significant factor leading to these mental health issues.” Neglecting mental health can lead to negative consequences that can impact a student’s ability to perform academically and succeed in other areas of life. 


However, grades are important for students because they reflect their academic performance and can impact their future opportunities, such as college admissions or job prospects. On the other hand, focusing solely on grades can lead to burnout, stress, and a lack of fulfillment outside of academics. 


Personal lives are crucial for students’ mental and emotional well-being. Spending time with family and friends, pursuing hobbies and interests, and caring for oneself can all contribute to a fulfilling and happy life. Neglecting personal life can lead to isolation, loneliness, and mental health issues. According to Pharmacy Times, “Across the 34 studies, investigators found small effects of child maltreatment on a range of mental health issues, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; conduct problems; internalized disorders, such as anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide attempt.”


Students who prioritize mental health often perform better academically. According to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), “Young people who receive appropriate mental health supports have improved academic achievement, are more likely to graduate, and are more likely to attend and successfully complete college.” When students take care of their mental health, they are more likely to have a positive mindset, be more focused and motivated, and experience less stress and anxiety. This can lead to improved academic performance, higher grades, and a better overall educational experience. 


Moreover, prioritizing mental health helps students develop lifelong skills that are essential for success in all areas of life. For example, focusing more on mental health can allow you to be more productively focused in the workplace and will lead to a better overall future. Most importantly, it teaches students how to manage stress, set boundaries, prioritize self-care, and build resilience. These skills are essential not only for academic success but also for personal growth and well-being. As well as a more positive school experience, which can improve overall mental health and academic performance. 


While academic success is important, it is not worth sacrificing one’s mental health. Prioritizing mental health helps students develop lifelong skills, build healthy relationships, and perform better academically. Therefore, students need to strike a balance between academic achievement and mental health, which will ultimately lead to a more fulfilling and successful life.

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