teen-girl stressed, voiceamerica

It seems just yesterday that we flaunted our new backpacks and bright eyes on the first day of school, but the reality is that summer is just around the corner. “Be excited! You can finally take a break from school and relax” says Mom; but little does she know, June breezes also blow in a warm dose of anxiety, as a cycle of summer stress settles in the pits of our stomachs. For incoming seniors it’s the ominous stack of college apps, but even the incoming freshmen understand the double-edged-sword of the three-month vacation: summer isn’t just daily tanning and trips to the beach, summer equals stress. 

We all acknowledge that this is an era of competition: an era when college isn’t just application and acceptance, but a grueling four years of five-days-a-week and seven-hours-a-day. We acknowledge that in order to get our hands on the glowing acceptance letter we must back ache and back break our way through all-night study sessions and endless stacks of flashcards. We acknowledge all of this with the glimmer of hope that summer brings a much needed exhale and a prolonged time-out. But maybe not…

An incoming freshman, Jordan L. from Joaquin Moraga comments on his prospective summer: “No camp. I’m starting community service. And then my dad wants me to take an online math course. I’m not that excited for summer this year.” Little does he know, his freshman summer is just the lesser of three evils; sophomore and junior year bring their own heightened problems:

“I don’t even remember what summer is. This year I have to tutor, be tutored, go to a college counselor, intern in Oakland, and then somehow catch up on my thousands of hours of sleep deprivation. I’ll probably just give up on that.” Meg S., a current junior at Miramonte muses over her cynical reality. 

Regardless of year, the reality is apparent: summer is now a three-month gap to fill with work. Whether it be internships, college counselors, or online courses, Lamorinda teens aren’t letting any precious time slip from their hands. It’s only a matter of time until the elementary school kids will be enrolling in SAT classes. 


Hannah Li runs track and tutors. In her free time she enjoys photography, blogging, and writing. She is the fashion reporter on Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio. 

As the editor and teen coach for Teen Scene for the newspaper, Cynthia Brian has had the opportunity to work with talented teens with attitude and opinions. She shares selected published works. To read numerous articles shepherded by Cynthia, visit www.BTSYA.com. Cynthia Brian also produces Express Yourself!™ on Voice America Kids Network heard Tuesdays NOON PT at  or for photos, descriptions, links, and more visit Express Yourself Teen Radio!

Read at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue0707/Summer-Stress.html