By Hayden Welty ’19
Undeniably, a reasonable person cannot blame Brophy for single-handedly causing increased anxiety.
However, if one looks at the results of a recent school survey, clear links exists between progression through the college preparatory institution and stress, sleep, and sadness levels.
Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs Mr. Seamus Walsh provided The Roundup with statistics from a school-wide accreditation survey assessed this fall.
The results reveal interesting developments in the student body.
The number of students with “very high” stress levels doubles after four years and the number with “average, what one would expect” and “not very high” stress levels halves.
Sleep, especially, takes a profound hit with almost half of freshman––42.6 percent––getting to bed by 10 p.m. and only 11.29 percent of seniors doing the same.
The most damning of all, in my opinion, is this statistic about depression: while 9.47 percent of freshman said they have had long bouts of the mental health condition, a whopping 26.2 percent of seniors said the same.
This means that for every four seniors at Brophy, one has experienced depression, and the results also indicate that roughly 15 percent of students go on to experience depression while attending Brophy itself.
While there is no definitive correlation and a wide slate of other factors could play a role in the shifts, all can be linked to rising homework demands and other extracurricular responsibilities, which given my personal experience at the school, seems to be the most likely explanation.
The number of kids with more than four hours of homework a night virtually doubles from freshman to sophomore year, and homework was reported to have increased, as one would expect, each consecutive year.
Although these effects are absolutely not Brophy’s “fault” in any manner of speaking, we can take steps to remedy lackluster sleep, unhealthy stress and mental health problems.
I cannot claim to have all the answers, and the solution will certainly not come easily; regardless, attempts need to be made at improving campus culture, especially its effect on these statistics.