The Top Concerns of High School Students: A Guide for Teachers

The Top Concerns of High School Students: A Guide for Teachers

Students are facing an ever-widening set of challenges during their high school experience, and with more importance being placed on student wellbeing it’s important to understand what factors affect their learning journey. 

Top Concerns

Read on to learn more about six of the top concerns help by high school students.


80% of teens reported feeling stressed on a daily basis and 31% feel overwhelmed as a result of stress. Research shows that stress leads to decreased performance in school, anxiety and depression, reduced self esteem, insomnia, decreased ability to control emotions, get along with others and adapt to change.

Test Anxiety

Almost 1 in 6 students get ‘highly anxious’ about tests and well over half (61%) feel under pressure to get good grades. This anxiety is caused by students wanting to avoid falling short of goals, limiting their options after high school, getting in in trouble with their parents, and looking stupid in front of their friends.

This is becoming an increasingly important issue as 81% of school leaders worry more about kids’ mental health during assessment periods than they used to, and a similar proportion (82%) of teachers believe tests and exams have the biggest impact on kids’ mental health.


Teens need 9 to 9.5 hours of sleep per night to support the cognitive and physical changes they’re going through. This is more than they needed as a child and more than they will need as an adult.

However, the average teen only sleeps for 7 to 7.25 hours. Exhaustion causes problems with concentration, memory, motivation, decision making, creativity, and leads to increased absences, irritability, participation in risk taking behaviors (drinking, drugs), tardiness/absences, all of which impact kids’ ability to do well in school.


On average, students receive 17.5 hours of homework a week, meaning that 48% of teens spend at least 3 hours doing homework each night. With many students also having part time jobs and extracurricular commitments, it leaves little time for relaxation and a full night’s sleep.

Relationships with Peers

The interactions students has a huge impact on how much they enjoy school. 29% of teens wish they had more good friends, 28% of teens have been bullied at school and 16% are affected by cyberbullying. This can all make school a place of misery resulting in declining grades and more absences.

The Next Steps Beyond School

Students are expected to make important life changing decisions on what to do after high school without being able to fully explore each area they’re interested in.

95% of students feel that having an enjoyable job or career is extremely important to them after finishing school and 59% of teens plan to attend university after finishing high school. 65% worry about being able to afford university and 70% express concern about getting into the university of their choice because they’re aware of how competitive admission to university can be. 13% aren’t sure what they want to do after high school.

Get Help to Engage with Your Students

We’ve built iyarn to serve as an essential tool for pastoral care and student wellbeing. Connect and start important conversations with your students by using iyarn for regular check ins. With customisable check ins, reminders and alerts, iyarn is an ideal tool to help teachers.

To find out more about how iyarn can work at your school, contact us for a discussion and demo.

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