Academy welcomed psychologist Dr. Lisa Damour, a New York Times bestselling author and contributor to CBS News, to discuss mental health and how to manage stress over a two-day visit involving parents, faculty, and students, beginning on April 7. Damour said the happiness and good feelings that we often associate with mental well-being is at odds with what professionals consider is important–the feelings fitting the circumstances. Speaking to the upper school, Damour shared that psychologists want to see stress during negative events and that it is normal to experience stress during situations like the night before a test.
Damour asked a variety of questions to the audience that produced both amusing and serious answers. With “What do you do to cope with stress?” prompting replies ranging from watching all three unabridged Lord of the Ring films to Barbie: Life in The Dreamhouse and more wholesome ones such as playing with the dog and going for a walk.
Damour emphasized that today’s teenagers get asked to do too much with maintaining friendships and becoming more independent in a setting hyper-focused competitive college admissions process.
Closing the lecture, Damour said our time in college is fleeting and once you reach adulthood its veneer fades away. And finally: “The course of your life is dictated by your opportunities and what you do with them.”