Letter from our Editors-in-Chief


Archer Liang

Siena Usui and Chelsee Sawai, Editors-in-Chief of Na Pueo.

Welcome to this school year’s first edition of Na Pueo! Our names are Siena Usui and Chelsee Sawai and as your Editors in Chief, we wanted to focus on a topic we can all relate to—stress.

Can 2021 be worse than 2020? According to an article from The Brink, the amount of adults with depression in the early 2020 months of the pandemic was at 27.8 percent. New research by Boston University School of Public Health revealed that the rate of depression in 2021 worsened, reaching 32.8 percent.

This year, we have definitely noticed that more of our classmates have complained about getting through the year. Becoming used to being in school full time unlike being online virtually has been a major adjustment for many. On top of this, as seniors, we’ve been filling out college applications while balancing schoolwork and part-time jobs. It’s been extremely stressful, especially as we near the end of the first semester.

Our generation has been the first in a century to undergo a pandemic during our teenage years, a time when we are at our most vulnerable. Don’t underestimate the toll it can take on us.

If you feel overwhelmed, try to focus on getting through the week instead of the future. Setting doable goals that can be accomplished in the next few days rather than concentrating on long term ones can be beneficial to help you complete them.

Although the stress of school has become a consuming aspect in our lives as students, according to a study done by the University of Rochester, psychologists have found that college students who reinterpret their stress response as performance-enhancing are less anxious and generally healthier.

This mindset is a good tool to use as we get through the stress and anxiety that comes with the job of working hard in school. We can all relate to having these feelings and know it’s hard to attain this mindset when there’s obstacles coming our way. We’re trying to push through all the homework we receive on sleepless nights, the quizzes that get assigned one after the other, extra curricular activities, and completing college applications. After all, there’s only so much time in the day to complete our priorities in an efficient manner.

Nonetheless, this study is right in that our minds are stronger than our reactions. It is up to us to determine how we react to those stressful moments. We can choose to either let the negativity consume us or rise above it and, with intent, use it as motivation to keep going.

Especially during the pandemic, I, Chelsee, have been tempted to give up. However, the idea of putting in minimal effort and picturing how negatively that could go motivates me to work hard, putting me closer to my goals of excelling.

Another solution to these pressing times is affirmations to yourself. Take a deep breath and say positive things such as “I am enough,” “I can do this,” and “I will not let this obstacle drag me down.” Being able to complete your tasks starts with you finding that balance when pushing yourself to your limits and being mentally kind to yourself.