High School Is Hard– Here’s Why

Upcoming students often wonder if it’s true that high school is hard. There are various factors that come into play, and it is truly what you make of it.

High school can be a challenging and rewarding experience for students. It is a time of significant academic and personal growth, as well as social and emotional development. 

I should know. I’ve put myself through some of the most challenging classes meanwhile working two jobs, juggling a relationship, and struggling with friendships. It’s safe to say it’s a rocky road for most teens.

Is it true that high school is hard?

Some students may find high school to be more difficult than middle school or elementary school, while others may find it to be easier. The level of difficulty will vary from student to student and may depend on factors such as their learning style, course load, and level of motivation. 

It is crucial for students to be proactive in seeking help and support when they need it and to set goals for themselves to stay on track and motivated. 

High School Is Hard– Here’s Why 

Overall, high school can be a challenging but rewarding experience that can prepare students for success in college and beyond. Whether high school is a breeze for you or a non-ending horror house, let’s go over the factors that make high school hard.

Transition to adulthood

High school is a time of significant transition as students prepare for college and the workforce. You grow up, both physically and mentally. This is the time for puberty and hormones going haywire.

From 14-18 years old, you will develop your mind in various ways. You will dip your toe in the adult life pool without having to jump in the deep end. Not yet, anyway.

More and more, you will feel your responsibilities growing. Homework will turn into bills, essays into resumes, and video presentations into interviews. This can be overwhelming for some students, who may feel pressure to make important decisions about their future.

College Choices

Students may be faced with decisions about what to study in college, where to attend college, and what career path to pursue. These decisions can be overwhelming, particularly for students who may feel they need more confidence in their abilities or who may be unsure about what they want to do in the future. 

Additionally, high school students may be faced with the challenges of increased independence, as they are expected to take on more responsibility for their own learning and decision-making. All of these factors can contribute to the difficulty of the high school experience for some students.

Anxiety And Depression

High school can be a tough time for most students, and it is common for teens to experience anxiety and depression during this period of their lives. 

The demands of high schools, such as maintaining good grades, participating in extracurricular activities, and navigating social relationships, can be quite overwhelming at a young age. At any age, for that matter!

Additionally, teenagers are often dealing with the emotional and physical changes of adolescence, which can also contribute to such feelings. These feelings can be compounded by external stressors such as family and financial issues, which can be more common during the high school years. 

It’s no secret that high school students are depressed. But are you aware of all the tale-tell signs? Do you know all the factors behind depression in teens? Check out my article for more information.

It is essential for students to be aware of the signs of anxiety and depression and to seek help if they are struggling with these emotions. Support from friends, family, and school counselors can be crucial in helping students to manage their emotions and navigate the challenges of high school.

Social Pressures

High school can be a time of significant social and emotional development. From navigating romantic relationships and making new friends to joining clubs and having a friend group,  

Students may face challenges with bullying or peer pressure. Now more than ever, students may face a range of social pressures during this period of their lives.

For example, students may feel pressure to fit in with their peers and to be popular or well-liked, which can be stressful. They may also face challenges in making new friends and navigating romantic relationships, which can be especially difficult for students who are shy or introverted.

Students who are exposed to bullying or peer pressure, which is emotionally and mentally taxing, could struggle heavily. These social pressures can be difficult for some students to handle and can contribute to feelings of anxiety, stress, and even depression. 

Increased Academic Demands

High school coursework is often more challenging than that of middle or elementary school, with more complex subjects and higher expectations for critical thinking and independent work.

Students may be required to take advanced or honors courses, which can be more complex and require more time and effort. High school students may also be expected to complete more homework and longer assignments and adhere to stricter deadlines. 

These increased demands can be challenging for some students, particularly those who struggle with time management or have difficulty with certain subjects. To develop good study habits and time management skills, students must apply themselves heavily, which can lead to stress.


The demands of high school can be stressful for some students, who may feel pressure to perform academically, participate in extracurricular activities, and maintain a social life. This can lead to feelings of pressure and stress.

Though this usually roots from increased academic demands, it might manifest in other ways. For instance, outside factors like financial trouble at home might have students missing class to go to work and help support their families.

Lack of opportunities, household problems, and financial burdens are just a few factors that may add to a student’s ongoing stress. It can be incredibly hard to juggle it all at once, especially at such a young age.

Time Management

High school students may have more classes, homework, and extracurricular activities to juggle, which can be challenging to manage effectively.

Students may find balancing their academic, social, and personal responsibilities difficult and need help finding enough time to complete their tasks. Chores and household responsibilities also add on to their already full plate.

Additionally, high school students may have more freedom and independence than they did in earlier grades, which can be both exciting and overwhelming. They may be responsible for managing their own schedules and making their own decisions about how to allocate their time, which can be challenging for some students who are not used to this level of responsibility. 

To manage their time effectively, high school students should develop good time management skills, such as creating a schedule, setting priorities, and breaking tasks down into smaller, more manageable steps. Seeking help from teachers or school counselors if they are struggling to manage their time can also be helpful. Most teachers are willing to extend due dates if there is a reasonable reason or explanation.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, high school can be a challenging and rewarding experience for students. It is a time of significant academic and personal growth, as well as social and emotional development. 

High school students may face increased academic demands and social pressures. Plus challenges related to time management and the transition to adulthood. It is important for students to be proactive in seeking help and support when they need it. And to develop coping skills to manage stress and anxiety. 

With hard work and determination, students can overcome the challenges of high school and prepare for success in college and beyond. Whether high school is hard or you enjoy every minute of it, it is vital to use this time to grow.

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