Feeling constantly stressed out and overwhelmed by school is an all too common experience for many students. The mounting pressures of academics, extracurriculars, and social dynamics can quickly become too heavy a burden to bear alone.

If you frequently find yourself driven to tears by the stress of school, know that you are not alone. This comprehensive guide will explore the various factors that make school so stressful, provide constructive advice on coping, and equip you with effective stress management techniques.

In short: School stresses students out so much they cry due to academic pressure, extracurricular demands, social pressures, lack of work-life balance, and inadequate coping skills. Managing school stress requires lifestyle changes like getting enough sleep, optimizing your schedule, focusing on your priorities, practicing self-care, and adopting healthy stress-relief habits.

Academic Pressure

One of the main reasons why school stresses students out so much that they cry is the heavy academic pressure they face. The combination of heavy workloads, difficult curriculum, standardized testing, and the pressure to excel can take a toll on students’ mental and emotional well-being.

Heavy Workloads

Students are often overwhelmed with the amount of homework and assignments they have to complete within a given timeframe. The pressure to meet deadlines and perform well academically can lead to stress and anxiety.

According to a study conducted by the National Education Association, students are spending an average of three hours per night on homework, which can be overwhelming for many.

Difficult Curriculum

The curriculum in schools has become increasingly challenging over the years. Students are expected to learn complex concepts and master difficult subjects. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and frustration when students struggle to keep up with the pace of the curriculum.

The pressure to perform well academically can make students feel stressed and overwhelmed.

Standardized Testing

Standardized testing has become a major source of stress for students. The pressure to perform well on these tests can be immense, as they are often used to evaluate a student’s academic abilities and determine their future opportunities.

The fear of failure and the high stakes associated with these tests can cause students to feel anxious and overwhelmed.

Pressure to Excel

There is often a societal and parental expectation for students to excel academically. This pressure to constantly achieve top grades and be the best can lead to stress and anxiety. Students may feel the need to constantly prove themselves and fear disappointing their parents or teachers.

This pressure can take a toll on their mental and emotional well-being.

It is important for schools and educators to recognize the negative impact of academic pressure on students and take steps to support their well-being. Creating a balanced and supportive learning environment, providing resources for stress management, and promoting a healthy work-life balance can help alleviate some of the stress and pressure students face.

Extracurricular Demands


One of the main reasons why school stresses students out so much they cry is the overwhelming pressure of extracurricular demands. Many students feel compelled to participate in multiple activities, clubs, and sports, often at the expense of their free time and mental well-being.

The desire to impress colleges or peers and the fear of missing out (FOMO) can drive students to overcommit themselves, leading to exhaustion and burnout.

Lack of Free Time

Another factor contributing to the stress and tears experienced by students is the lack of free time due to extracurricular demands. With busy schedules filled with classes, homework, and extracurricular activities, students find it challenging to find time for themselves.

The constant juggling of responsibilities and the pressure to excel in all areas can leave students feeling overwhelmed and emotionally drained.


The combination of overcommitment and a lack of free time can lead to burnout, a state of chronic physical and emotional exhaustion. When students push themselves too hard and neglect self-care, they become susceptible to burnout.

Symptoms of burnout can include fatigue, irritability, decreased motivation, and even physical ailments. The demanding nature of extracurricular activities can exacerbate these symptoms, causing students to feel overwhelmed and reach their breaking point.

To address these issues, it is crucial for students to prioritize their well-being and find a healthy balance between school, extracurricular activities, and personal time. Learning to say “no” to excessive commitments and seeking support from teachers, parents, and counselors can help alleviate the stress and prevent tears caused by the overwhelming demands of school and extracurricular activities.

Social Pressures

One of the main reasons why school stresses students out so much they cry is due to the social pressures they face. These pressures can come from various sources, including fitting in, peer competition, cyberbullying, and the fear of missing out.

Fitting In

Students often feel the need to fit in and be accepted by their peers. This can lead to anxiety and stress as they try to conform to societal norms and expectations. They may feel pressured to dress a certain way, talk a certain way, or be interested in certain activities.

The fear of being judged or rejected can be overwhelming and can contribute to feelings of inadequacy and insecurity.

Peer Competition

The competitive nature of school can also be a significant source of stress for students. From grades and test scores to extracurricular activities and college admissions, there is often a constant pressure to outperform their peers.

This can create a highly stressful environment where students feel like they constantly have to prove themselves and be the best. The fear of falling behind or not meeting expectations can be incredibly overwhelming.


In today’s digital age, cyberbullying has become a prevalent issue among students. The rise of social media platforms and online communication has made it easier for bullies to target their victims. Cyberbullying can have a profound impact on a student’s mental and emotional well-being, leading to feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety.

The fear of being bullied online can make school a daunting and stressful place for many students.

Fear of Missing Out

With the rise of social media, students are constantly bombarded with images and updates about what their peers are doing. This can create a fear of missing out (FOMO) and a sense of inadequacy. Students may feel like they need to constantly be doing something exciting or attending every social event to avoid feeling left out.

This pressure to always be “in the know” and be part of every experience can lead to stress and anxiety.

It is important for educators, parents, and society as a whole to recognize and address these social pressures that contribute to students’ stress levels. By creating a supportive and inclusive environment, we can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety students experience in school.

Lack of Work-Life Balance

One of the primary reasons why school stresses students out so much that they cry is the lack of work-life balance. Students often find themselves overwhelmed with academic responsibilities, leaving them with little to no time for themselves.

No Time for Self

With endless assignments, exams, and extracurricular activities, students often struggle to find time for self-care. They are constantly racing against the clock, trying to meet deadlines and complete their work.

As a result, they may neglect their physical and mental well-being, leading to increased stress levels.

Endless To-Do Lists

Another contributing factor to the stress students experience is the never-ending to-do lists. Each day, they are bombarded with a multitude of tasks and responsibilities, making it difficult for them to prioritize and manage their time effectively.

It can feel overwhelming to constantly have a long list of things to accomplish.

Poor Sleep Habits

The pressure to excel academically often leads students to sacrifice their sleep. Late-night studying or completing assignments can disrupt their sleep patterns, causing them to feel tired and fatigued during the day.

This lack of quality sleep can further exacerbate their stress levels and negatively impact their overall well-being.

No Leisure Time

Students may also feel stressed because they have little to no leisure time. As they focus on their academic commitments, they may have to sacrifice activities they enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, or spending time with friends and family.

This lack of balance can leave them feeling burnt out and overwhelmed.

It is important for students to find ways to prioritize their well-being and create a healthy work-life balance. By managing their time effectively, practicing self-care, and seeking support when needed, students can reduce their stress levels and create a more positive and enjoyable school experience.

Inadequate Coping Skills

One of the main reasons why school stresses students out so much they cry is because they often have inadequate coping skills to deal with the pressure. Coping skills are the strategies and techniques that individuals use to manage stress and navigate difficult situations.

When students lack these skills, they may feel overwhelmed and struggle to handle the demands of school.


A common coping mechanism for students facing stress is avoidance. They may procrastinate on assignments, skip class, or avoid challenging tasks altogether. While this may provide temporary relief, it ultimately leads to increased stress and anxiety as deadlines loom and responsibilities pile up.

Additionally, avoiding difficult situations prevents students from developing the necessary skills to effectively handle future challenges.

Unhealthy Stress Relief

Another coping mechanism that students often turn to is unhealthy stress relief. This can include behaviors such as excessive eating, substance abuse, or self-harm. While these behaviors may provide temporary relief, they are neither sustainable nor effective in the long run.

Engaging in these unhealthy coping mechanisms can further exacerbate the stress and emotional turmoil that students are experiencing.

Limited Support System

Having a strong support system is crucial for managing stress and navigating difficult situations. Unfortunately, many students lack a reliable support system, whether it be due to a lack of close friends, strained relationships with family members, or a lack of accessible mental health resources.

Without a support system, students may feel isolated and overwhelmed, leading to increased stress and emotional distress.

Maladaptive Perfectionism

Perfectionism can also contribute to the stress experienced by students. While striving for excellence can be a positive trait, maladaptive perfectionism takes it to an unhealthy extreme. Students with maladaptive perfectionism set unrealistically high standards for themselves and experience intense anxiety and self-criticism when they fall short.

This constant pressure to be perfect can lead to burnout and emotional breakdowns.

It is important for educators and parents to recognize the impact of inadequate coping skills on students’ well-being. By providing support and resources to help students develop healthy coping mechanisms, we can help alleviate the stress that school often brings.

Constructive Ways to Cope with School Stress

Stress is a common part of the school experience for many students. The pressure to perform well academically, manage extracurricular activities, and navigate social relationships can often become overwhelming.

However, it is important for students to learn how to cope with this stress in constructive ways. By implementing these strategies, students can better manage their stress levels and improve their overall well-being.

Get Enough Sleep

One of the most important ways to cope with school stress is to prioritize getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep can have a negative impact on cognitive function, memory, and concentration, making it harder for students to perform well in school.

It is recommended that teenagers get between 8-10 hours of sleep each night. Establishing a consistent sleep routine, creating a relaxing bedtime environment, and avoiding electronic devices before bed can all contribute to better sleep quality.

Optimize Your Schedule

Another way to cope with school stress is to optimize your schedule. This involves creating a balanced routine that includes time for studying, extracurricular activities, and relaxation. Prioritize tasks based on importance and deadlines, and break them down into smaller, manageable chunks.

This will help prevent procrastination and reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed by a large workload. Additionally, it is important to schedule in breaks and leisure activities to give your mind and body a chance to relax and recharge.

Focus on Priorities

When facing school stress, it is crucial to focus on priorities. Take the time to identify your most important tasks and goals, and allocate your time and energy accordingly. This may involve saying no to certain commitments or activities that are not essential to your overall well-being and academic success.

By focusing on what truly matters, you can reduce unnecessary stress and create a more balanced and fulfilling school experience.

Practice Self-care

Self-care is an essential component of coping with school stress. Taking care of your physical and mental well-being can help you better manage stress and improve overall resilience. Engage in activities that you enjoy and that help you relax, such as exercise, hobbies, or spending time with friends and family.

It is also important to prioritize self-care activities such as eating nutritious meals, staying hydrated, and practicing mindfulness or relaxation techniques.

Adopt Healthy Stress Relief Habits

Finally, adopting healthy stress relief habits can greatly contribute to coping with school stress. Find healthy outlets for stress such as journaling, listening to music, or engaging in creative activities. It is also important to seek support from friends, family, or school counselors when needed.

Additionally, adopting stress management techniques such as deep breathing exercises or meditation can help reduce anxiety and promote a sense of calm.

By implementing these constructive coping strategies, students can effectively manage their school stress and improve their overall well-being. Remember, it’s important to prioritize self-care and seek support when needed.

School stress may be unavoidable, but with the right tools, it can be managed in a healthy and productive way.


In conclusion, school stresses students out to the point of tears due to a combination of intense academic demands, packed extracurricular schedules, social pressures, lack of work-life balance, and poor stress coping skills.

To better manage the stress of school, focus on getting adequate sleep, streamlining your schedule, prioritizing what matters most, making time for self-care, and developing healthy stress relief habits like exercise, meditation, journaling, or speaking with a counselor.

With some lifestyle adjustments and self-compassion, school can become a more manageable experience.

The key is to realize you are not alone in finding school intensely stressful at times. Implement small, sustainable changes to give yourself the care and coping tools needed to lessen school’s burden.

There are always solutions available – and people willing to help – if you just reach out and prioritize your well-being.

Similar Posts