Last Updated 31 Jan 2023

A Better High School Environment for Teenagers’ Happiness

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High school is an institution where individuals come to learn new things but it’s also structured as a small society because it is a place where many people from a different age, sex; social classes and belief meet to live together during hours every day. And like every society, there are inequalities, with people with more abilities to survive while others tend to be the wicker. And that is where that environment starts to be qualified as toxic.

The national centre for education statistics shows that “Nearly 1 in 5 students (21%) report being bullied during the school year, impacting over 5 million youth annually “and that “Students who experienced bullying or cyberbullying are nearly 2 times more likely to attempt suicide” students get bullied for a different reason but the most common one is known to be the religion, the sexual orientation or the skin colour.

This brings students not to feel comfortable in their environment but also to stress on the look people have on them and the eventual problems of those small differences in the way of being, dressing and thinking might bring.

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Another thing  that affects teenagers’ happiness in high school is the stress that places provide like it has been mentioned in the teds talk “raising happy teenagers one of the main reasons for teenagers unhappiness is unrealistically high pressure to perform. Sometimes, high school students get an assignment that isn't over their capacities but that makes them think that because of the short among of time given.

But that is not where the real problem is, teenagers every day are facing comparison, and critics on how their work is done or on marks. The real source of that stress is the feeling that they are never doing the right thing. Sometimes teachers focus more on how a student could get a better mark instead of thinking about why does that student did not get the wanted grade.

And all of these are stress factors that play a role in the unhappiness of student's high schools. This environment is qualified as toxic because the student doesn't feel as secured and understood as they imagined before getting into it.

Making changes in  structure of the class is one of the solutions I found to this issue, and knowing that a structure is everything that physically or virtually made up something divided into three parts; that are having later school start, having activities between classes and making physical changes on the actual environment.

Teenagers may have very bad reputation for staying up late and sleeping longer than any other demographic, the science shows that it's not their fault. According to an article from BBC Worklife; “Biologically, teenagers have a different circadian rhythm to people of other ages. Their internal body clock, which tells them when and how long to sleep, doesn't line up well with the norms of the social clock.”

This article briefly explains that the common school start hours don’t match with the sleep schedule of teenagers and that leads to a lack of sleep that affects their physical abilities, but also their mental health. Having a later school start would increase the students’ performance in school but help in the reduction of stress and mood swings.

Making changes in those hours could help teenagers feeling better at school. But another way to increase such feeling could also be having activities during classes because according to a French health website “top santé “after 25mn the attention given to work or explanation starts decreasing.

Can you imagine how hard it is for teenagers to stay concentrated during 2 hours on some teachers' explanations; having breaks during classes with activities like mediations would help increase the teenagers’’ capacity to concentrate but also help to release and have a more stable mental health.

When I talk about making changes in the class structure I also means physical changes. But making changes in the physical environment of students in  high school by changing the way students sit in class or including them in the decoration of their environment would help them to feel better in it.

In conclusion high school students are unhappy about school for very many reasons such as restrictions, stress issues, and judgment related to that place. All of that brings some psychological reaction called association that makes teenagers associate all the bad things that happened to them during their high school years to that environment.

To solve such issues I came up with two main solutions that are making changes in the class structure by having later school start, activities between classes, and changes in the physical high school environment. As a second solution I found the psychological support of students in high school in two levels. I think that they might be hard to install but can make high school a better environment for teenagers.

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