Photo by Izzy Cameron
Throughout high school, most students experience periods of stress when it comes to keeping up with the demands of classwork. It can be hard to control stress, and oftentimes it can feel overwhelming.
It is important to remember that you are not the only one feeling stressed about school – in fact, according to The American Institute of Stress, 83% of stress reported by teens is school related.
Whether you are a freshman feeling a bit nervous about starting high school or a junior preparing for the ACT, we can all learn some important tips to help manage school related stress.
Write down what needs to be completed
Many students feel overwhelmed trying to keep track of what they need to do. Writing down all pending tasks—whether school, job, or sports related— in one spot can help you feel more organized and thus decrease stress.
Prioritize pending tasks
Once you’ve written down all that needs to be completed, you can schedule your time based on how long it will take to complete each task. Writing out a timeline can help students visualize the pending tasks, helping them to get a better handle on what needs to be completed.
Write due dates on Calendar
A calendar is a great resource when trying to stay organized: Print out a free calendar template, create one with markers and paper, or write in a planner. By writing down due dates and being able to see them tangibly on a piece of paper, a student is able to keep track of all that needs to be completed. Also, when a task is completed they can cross off tasks, allowing them to feel a sense of accomplishment.
Make sure to get enough sleep
It is important for teens to get enough sleep. Nationwide Children’s Hospital reports that 9-9.5 hours of sleep is ideal for the average teen. Often, teens do not realize how tired they are until it is too late and adding fatigue to stress is a bad mix. The American Institute of Stress reports that 36% of teens feel fatigued, further emphasizing the importance of getting more sleep.
Help! I have followed the steps above and am still feeling stressed!
Take a deep breath
Many times when you are stressed, you tense up and unknowingly hold your breath. This may only contribute to the amount of stress one is feeling. It is important to allow the blood to flow to all parts of the body, in order to reduce the feelings of stress, so take deep breaths to help alleviate stress immediately.
Talk to classmates
When we are stressed, we may tend to feel alone. Talking to others can reduce these feelings. The National Institute of Mental Health says, “Keep in touch with people who can provide emotional support and practical help.” While talking, you may learn that your classmates are feeling stressed too – you are not the only one!
Reach out to guidance counselors or teachers
If you are feeling nervous about an assignment, talk to your teacher and inform them. They will always be willing to help, just be sure to let them know before the due date of the assignment. Guidance counselors are also a great resource, as they can guide you on the proper path or facilitate the conversation with your teacher.
Overall, it is important to note that stress cannot be completely eliminated immediately. With time, you can help mitigate the feelings of stress. Remember, you are not alone and there are always people and resources to help you!