Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

Irene Tsen

Junior Rohan Kancherla

Junior year is notorious for elevated stress levels—a challenge that junior Rohan Kancherla faces. Kancherla, however, views stress as a driving force. “Stress can be really motivating, [because] it makes you feel an urgency and need to try,” he said.

Stress can often stem from societal pressures, especially in an environment that prioritizes a rigorous, academic lifestyle. Kancherla attributes some of his stress to external pressures, but also recognizes that a lot of his stress is caused by his own ambition to succeed. “There’s a lot of pressure from peers and parents,” he said. “You don’t want to disappoint them, so you put that pressure on yourself.”

Despite its possible detrimental effects, Kancherla still believes in the importance of stress in life. “These things are stressors for a reason,” he said. “There are a lot of consequences to not doing well academically.”

Although Kancherla has to balance time spent playing water polo and doing schoolwork, he always prioritizes a punctual sleeping schedule. “I take a little bit of rest [after water polo practices], and then work as much as I can and get as much done as possible,” he said. “However, I also [try to] make sure I sleep on time so I’m not going overboard. I can find time in the morning or during school to catch up if I need to.”

Maintaining a balance between work and well-being is Kancherla’s secret to prevent becoming overwhelmed. Sometimes, it can also be helpful to just have something to look forward to. “I just need to [tell myself] that I’ll be able to spend time with other people over the weekend,” he said.

Kancherla realizes that stressing about stress is only bound to make things worse. “You just have to realize that [the pressure] is not going to go away,” he said. “You [need to] find time to relax in between. [I tend to get] very stressed out and take things too seriously [until I reach] the point where I realize I can’t really change anything.”

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