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Burton High Stories: Stress and Wellness

Matthew Avila, senior at Burton High School
Matthew Avila, senior at Burton High School

Students studying health sciences at Phillip and Sala Burton Academic High School in San Francisco worked with KALW radio to share their perspectives on health issues and solutions. Matthew Avila, senior at Burton High School, said stress is a huge issue for him and his classmates.

My name is Matthew Avila. I'm a senior at Burton High School and my topic is about stress.

What are signs of stress? Signs of stress are feeling overwhelmed, the feeling of worry and mental turmoil, being anxious, scared, and even sleeping problems. According to Mr. Wade, our wellness director, about 60 people a day come to Wellness, which is a safe mental space for everyone at Burton, to talk about anything, mainly by stress. I asked everyone what should the school do to support wellness. And everyone said the same thing: Normalize the topic, and educate more people, because for some people, wellness and mental health is not important.

School stresses me out. I worry about homework, tests, worried about the next quiz, you know, things like that.

Another thing that stresses me out is my parents. Their pressure on me to graduate high school and to get a good job, finished college, take care of my brothers, to help them financially...that stresses me out because I'm just a kid and I want to worry about games, volleyball, basketball, things like that. It kind of worries me because what if I don't make it? What if I don't graduate high school? What if I don't graduate college?

The way that I do or my stress is hanging out with friends, going to the mall, eating in a restaurant, just hanging out, having a good time, playing volleyball, exercising, and meditating, which I find relaxing and soothing for me.

Everyone deals with stress. It's important to normalize it, to talk about it. It is very important to let your peers and all your family know so they better help you mentally and physically.