The Stress Less Project

Stress Less is the International Baccalaureate CAS project of Windermere Prep 12th grader Seb Needham. Last year, Seb noticed an increasing amount of pressure being put on students entering into the IB program, and began to see the problem of stress becoming a problem not just in his grade, but also in many other grade levels. During a homecoming week activity, when asked what they associate with the school, students answered "stress" as one of their answers. Seb decided then that he needed to help others learn how to deal with it in an effective way. 

He soon discovered the University of Florida's "U Matter, We Care" program which, according to their website, "serves as UF's umbrella program for UF's caring culture and provides students in distress with support and coordination of the wide variety of appropriate resources." Inspired, Seb decided to reach out to ambassadors of the program to help develop his idea further.

Stress Less aims to provide students, current and prospective, with the resources to appropriately explore how to tackle stress in a variety of environments. This involves getting students to write blog posts about new methods they've been trying, creating a video series talking to teachers and other adults about their experiences and knowledge surrounding stress, and gaining insight from current college students about the differences between high school and college, and how to start getting a head start on managing time in preparation for college. 

Moving from England and entering Windermere Prep during his 10th grade year, Seb appreciated the benefits of the Reach A Student website, and knew after talking to the University of Florida that a great way to implement his new project was through the Reach A Student site.

"I'm really excited to be working with Reach A Student for this project. Stress is one of the biggest things high school students have to go through, and creating Stress Less was my way of trying to help the Windermere Prep community tackle the issue. What I hope to do with this project is to really explore all the various aspects of stress and help our students become better equipped to handle it. I want our students to try out various techniques of tackling stress, to reach out to adults with experience, and I want the input of people like the UF ambassadors. I'm really motivated by the caring atmosphere that has been created through the UF "U Matter, We Care" program, and I want our students to feel equally as supported. There's inevitably going to be stress in our lives, but if we can find ways to understand it and deal with it in ways that suit us as individuals, the Windermere Prep experience can be enhanced with positivity and understanding, things that every Laker needs."

Seb Needham
- Stress Less Founder