myBlueprint Student Stress Index 2012
Students feeling squeezed by stress
First-ever myBlueprint Canadian Student Stress Index reveals top anxieties of high school pupils
June 21, 2012 – Students today are under a lot of pressure as they struggle to cope with the demands of school, family and planning their future. But the greatest source of this pressure is the stress they place on themselves. That’s the finding of a new survey of Canadian high school students by education and career-planning service myBlueprint.ca. A total of 523 respondents answered questions on what stresses them out the most, how they feel about their post-high school prospects, and what helps alleviate their anxiety, and their insights comprise the first-ever index of high school student stress in Canada.
Stressing themselves out
Of all the areas of angst in students’ lives, the biggest is the one facing them in the mirror: 75% cited themselves as their biggest source of stress. That’s more than their parents/guardians (71%) and teachers (66%), and far more than their friends (39%) and their siblings (22%).
“There’s a lot of pressure on kids coming out of high school to know exactly what they want to do. That’s partly because post-secondary school is more expensive than ever, so families can’t afford for their kids to experiment in different programs. It’s also because unemployment rates for youths are quite high, so it’s more important for kids to choose their paths wisely,” says Brian Harris, a former high school teacher and guidance counsellor who now consults on career and educational planning resources to students, teachers, counsellors and career advisors across North America.
The survey also found that 81% of students feel moderate to high levels of stress when it comes to planning their post-secondary options, and 77% feel similar amounts of stress about school assignments, tests and marks. As well, 66% of students said they feel moderately to very stressed by their parents’ expectations of their plans after high school. Interestingly, when it comes to how teens feel about the proliferation of ways to communicate, it was a close call: just a little over half – 58% – said it makes their lives less stressful.
Figuring out the future
For many students, myBlueprint.ca helps tame their trepidation: According to a recent study of Toronto District School Board students who had recently started using the program, 88% felt more confident about making good decisions about their post-secondary plans, resulting in more than three quarters (77%) experiencing reduced stress when thinking about their future.
The comprehensive service makes it easy for high school students to choose courses, research post-secondary programs and explore occupations that might fit their strengths, interests and abilities.
“I think myBlueprint can be a very significant and positive resource for students to help them sort out their educational paths and career directions,” Harris says. “Students can tap into the wealth of information on the site on their own, or sit down with a guidance counsellor or a parent and examine their future options.” As well, the site’s new Experiences & Resume Builder offers a convenient way to document school, volunteer and extracurricular achievements and develop an effective resume and cover letter.
“By providing an efficient way to map out apprenticeship, college, university and workplace options after high school and prepare for their careers, myBlueprint.ca helps students understand the future impact of their current decisions,” says Gil Silberstein, president of myBlueprint.ca.
The scoop on student stress
- The pressures of life overwhelm many students today—moderate to high amounts of stress were reported about planning post-secondary options (81%), school projects, exams and grades (77%) and parents/guardians (52%).
- Students place high expectations on themselves: when it comes to their top sources of pressure, the majority—75%—cited themselves. Following close behind were parents/guardians at 71%, and teachers at 66%. Friends were indicated by 39% of students as causing pressure, while just 22% said siblings.
- The explosion in Internet-enabled digital devices and social networking platforms can also stress out teens: 43% say the proliferation of communication channels makes their lives more stressful.
- When asked how they feel about their parents’ expectations of their plans after high school, 66% of students reported a moderate to high level of stress.
- According to a recent study of Toronto District School Board students who had recently started using myBlueprint.ca program, 90% of students feel more focused about their future goals as a result. In fact, myBlueprint.ca significantly reduces students’ stress levels: 88% felt more confident about making good decisions about their post-secondary plans, resulting in more than three quarters (77%) experiencing reduced stress when thinking about their future. Download the Report: The Impact of myBlueprint.ca on Education and Career Planning.
myBlueprint is a leading Canadian innovator of user-friendly online education and career planning resources. It is available for free to more than half a million students across Canada in partnership with more than 1,500 subscribing elementary and high schools in 40 school districts. Established in 2005, myBlueprint is based on extensive research with education stakeholders at every level. The company is committed to helping educators meet curriculum learning outcomes, involving parents in the planning process and empowering every student to make the most informed decisions about the future.
To find out more on myBlueprint please visit www.myBlueprint.ca
Follow myBlueprint on Twitter
Like myBlueprint on Facebook