Academic Stress Seminar opens discussion on stress management

Academic Stress Seminar opens discussion on stress management

Namrata Ramani

Peer Counseling’s Academic Stress Seminar teaches parents, students and teachers how to deal with stress.

LCSW Maxine Fischer Becker suggests various ways that teachers and parents can help students manage their stress. A majority of those who attended the seminar were adults. Photo by Namrata Ramani.

On Jan. 30, the MV Peer Counseling Club held its first seminar — a presentation by licensed clinical social worker Maxine Fischer Becker about academic stress. The seminar addressed the rise of academic pressure in the country, the consequences of stress and methods for coping with such stress.Becker, along with members of the Peer Counseling club, a club that explores social  issues at MVHS and provides resources for student support, examined the various symptoms of stress that students likely face in physical, mental and behavioral aspects.


Becker defines stress and the body’s reaction

The seminar also addressed how parents and teachers can minimize stress by using tools such as a conflict calendar for assigning tests and creating schedules to optimize time management. Junior Jasmine Cheng, a peer counselor in the club, believes that the lack of time management is a key contributor to stress.

“At MVHS, we just want to achieve the best, do the best,” Cheng said. “The reality of it is that we can’t do the best because we just don’t have time.”


Peer Counseling President Alexander Pieb explains pressure at MVHS

Becker explained that small changes in lifestyle can go a long way in terms of stress reduction and proposed solutions that included exercise, a healthy diet and humor. Becker then proceeded to project an image of penguins holding hands — much to the audience’s delight — stating that images that cause similar reactions can have a profound effect on people’s moods.

At the end of the presentation, attendees did a meditation exercise.


Becker walks through a de-stressing activity

A majority of those present were parents of MVHS students, including parent Rekha Baliga,  who attended to help her daughter reduce stress at MVHS. Baliga, who believes the biggest challenge students face at MVHS is the academic stress, plans on making some of these changes changes with her daughter.

“I’m going to talk to [my daughter] about balancing her lifestyle,” Baliga said. “Maybe we’ll even attend the Kaiser clinic on mindfulness and meditation.”