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Students Struggles With Work Ethic Due To Stress

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Work ethic can be defined as the principle that hard work is intrinsically virtuous or worthy of reward. To have a good work ethic means to have a drive or desire to accomplish a goal. Stress in students can cause the development of poor work ethic as well as impactics students emotionally, physically and in some cases financially. The load of school work which students are given and how that student is able to handle it varies from student to student. A lot of students can become stressed and develop feelings of anxiety when trying to cope with the workload that comes with school and because of that their ability and will to have a good work ethic is dulled. I myself am still dealing with the effects of stress in school started a few years ago. The development of a proper work ethic is being hindered by stress in students and the educational system does nothing to prepare it’s students for what’s next.

While looking back at my days in grade school I can finally see that my work ethic has changed for the better. Back in Elementary school I would always have my work finished as soon as I get home. Those were the days where my friends and I would be so eager to go outside and be in the fresh air running around in the patchy grass. When middle school started was when things began to trend downwards. Attending a magnet school like Roberto Clemente middle school it didn’t take long for me to quickly go from one of the smartest kids in the school to just another student. During my first year of middle school it seemed like almost every week there would be a new project due or the weekly homework would start to become longer than it was the previous week. Going home to do homework and play outside with friends quickly became “I can’t wait to go home and get on xbox”. My obsession with video games grew in middle school and becoming one of the main causes of a poor work ethic towards school work leading to a pile up of assignments. When it comes to work ethic one must maintain a level of focus along with a drive to achieve something. In school the balance between social life and education is vital to the growth of a student . In middle school I faced many problems with trying to balance a social life and education. Middle school is a time when kids begin to show signs of their true character. It’s also the time when children feel the most pressure to not be who they are. This will often lead to distractions that take away from the focus of education. In middle school I was so focused on becoming the cool kid, class clown, and everyone’s best friend. For a lot of kids taking away the focus on growing academically adds to stress they’ll begin to feel when time is almost too little too late, due to their want to climb the social ladder.

In my final year so middle school my need for attention and to be popular almost ended up costing me my chances of graduating and moving on to high school. In just three years I had gone from a student who was all about getting the best grade possible and being on top of every single assignment to being a stressed twelve year glaring into the eyes of my eighth grade teacher as she very clearly explained to me why I may be looking inside the halls of Roberto Clemente middle school for another year. I had gotten stuck inside of an academic hole and was looking at the very pit. What could I blame? The school, the teachers, my parents, the other students? This exact moment is when students like myself begin to blame the teacher for not doing her job or blame the teacher for loading on the work up to our necks. Looking at the situation now made me realise that the only person I had to blame was me. During the later stages of high school, especially my Junior year which is also known as the most important year; the “make or break” point. The SAT, AP Exams, and most importantly keeping a good enough GPA to even have a chance of being considered for acceptance by top schools. School is a massive part of what someone may choose to become in the future; how well are you truly helping your chances if some of the classes you’re taking may not even apply to the field in which you want to study. How well are you being helped if you are unprepared for the next stage of your life. Unnecessary work leads to unnecessary stress as they go hand and hand with the lack of drive for success needed in work ethic like many students like myself across the United States.

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When talking about stress in students and the negative impact it has on student work ethic you can’t go without talking about College students.College students will experience more stress throughout their entire college career than others due to poor work ethic and preparation. College freshman are the students most at risk as they’re now being placed into a new environment they were not prepared for. Many people believe that kids need to suck it up and get the work done. Most of the people are adults that haven’t experienced the evolution in education, the increase in the workload and what is being asked of students. The truth is high school doesn’t prepare you for college. In high school students had a support system of parents along with the same seven teachers students saw for one entire school year. In college the independence can become a blow to most students as professors schedules are much more complex than that of any other grade level. The long nights some people may spend up scurrying to do an assignment that they knew about weeks in advance only deciding to put it off because they want to spend time with every single friend every single minute of the only bit of free time they have.

According to an article by Rob Callahan, relationships are one of the four causes of stress amongst college students along with the physical causes of stress; “Sacrificing sleep for extensive studying and social activity” (Callahan) . Sleep deprivation or lack of sleep causes a loss of focus in class and in some cases leads to bad habits used as “stress relievers”. Things like smoking and Alcohol is used by many college students and in an article by NIH 60% of college students ages 18-22 drank within the past month, almost 2 out of 3 were involved in binge drinking. These bad habits all lead back to one source and that is the stress that is placed upon a student when it comes to school work and how that student handles it and organizes themselves. The physical effects that students deal with from these “stress relievers” can cause severe long term effects and in most cases can lead to alcoholism.

Financing college can very much so be affected by college level stress. About 19% of students with a high school GPA of 3.5 – 4.0 receive a Scholarship to the university they currently attend, according to a article by Michelle Singletary for the Washington post. These college scholarships have a requirement that states the scholar must keep up to a certain standard of grades in order to have the money funded by the scholarship distributed by the university or college. The scarcity of these scholarships should raise alarms in the educational systems as something is clearly not going right if less than 20% of students are getting proper scholarships. An estimated 66% of graduates from public universities are in student loan debt by the time they graduate from private school that number is 75% totalling the number to 1.3 millions students in some type of debt to the school or government(Ticas). Students attending out of state colleges are succumb to even more stress as the cost to attend a school outside of one’s home state in most cases is double what a student who resides within the state would pay. Ohio State ran a survey on 19,000 of it’s students and the stress they feel about financing college “Six out of 10 were worried about tuition cost” (White) that’s 11,400 students worried about the cost of paying for school not only the school work alone but paying for school. If that doesn’t make someone want to stress about their grades then this person must be living the perfect life and are holding the secrets to less stress from us all.

Stress will be the leading cause of poor work ethic in students and continue to impact students on an emotional, financial and physical basis. A full time college student is put under a greater deal of stress than others because they will have to deal with the fact they everything they do in college will have an impact on what kind of life they live in the future. As every high school teacher says high school seniors are supposed to be “prepared” for college when they leave school. Lots of students leaving high school to enter college with drop out within their first two years because of the lack of preparation that they received when they were in high school. Nothing high schools are doing right now will prepare you for the stress that comes with being a full-time college student. The educational system needs to take a look at what they are doing and better prepare students for the next stages of their lives hopefully leading to the increase of successful people in this world.

Work Cited

  1. “Most College Kids Are Totally Stressed About Money | Money.” Time, Time,
  2. Callahan, Rob. “What are the causes of stress among college students?.” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 18 Apr. 2017,
  3. Singletary, Michelle. “Get real on scholarships.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 12 Mar. 2011,
  4. NIH, “College Drinking.” National Institutes of health, NIH, 20 Dec. 2009,

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Students Struggles With Work Ethic Due To Stress. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 4, 2022, from
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