Club Looks to Reduce Stress, ‘Challenge Success’

The Girls for a Change Club has chosen to join the Challenge Success program, formerly known as the SOS (Stressed Out Students) program, as its year-long project. The decision came after many members of the club reported that the past school year had left them overworked and stressed out. They searched out local programs that combated stress and found Challenge Success.

The club is planning on attending conferences and workshops throughout the year in order to figure out how to address stress. However, they still are not exactly sure where the program will take them or what changes it may result in for the school.

“To figure out exactly what we want to change at LAHS [Girls for a Change] will conduct a needs assessment asking students what stresses them out the most,” club member junior Sarah Loebner said. “That way we can be sure to hit the problem at the source.”

Girls for a Change will then use the information they gather to decide what changes should be implemented at the school.

In the meantime, the club members have been attending workshops and conferences in preparations for the program.

On Saturday, September 27, interested club members met at Stanford to attend a workshop on how to implement a Challenge program at the school.

“At the Challenge Success workshop, we got a better idea of our goals in terms of making changes at LAHS,” Sarah said. “We listened to a panel of three representatives of schools who had done SOS before, and we learned what worked and what didn’t.”

A conference was also held on Friday, September 26 at Stanford’s Dinkelspiel Auditorium­­ to serve as an introduction to the program.

At the conference, SOS founder Denise Pope told the crowd that SOS was changing its name to Challenge Success. The reason for this change, she said, was that faulty perceptions of success cause stress. According to Pope, many measure success by the prestige of the college to which students are admitted.

“Success is not handed to you in an envelope from Stanford or Yale,” Pope said.

Pope argued that forcing students to drive for such a narrow definition of success hurts their prospects for a successful future outside of college. Pushing students for such a narrow view of success leads to a feeling of failing for students who do not attain their goals, causing them to feel worthless.