We’ve all had to deal with stress in our lives at one point or another; whether it be from school or work, it’s something that can bring discomfort to our lives. When I started high school I found myself overwhelmed with many stressors and needed to find ways to make a positive transition. I found that I was the one who put the most pressure on myself. Right from the start I wanted everything to be perfect. I wanted straight A’s, I wanted to finish all my service hours as soon as possible, and I wanted to get involved in clubs. I thought that everything would be fine, but I never anticipated that some of those things would not work out.
I struggled in Spanish and was never able to get the GPA I wanted during freshman year and this was a major blow that made me feel trapped. I was struggling and I felt like I had no one to turn to. It was during this time that I realized how important it is to ask for help.
Ask for Help
We like to think that we have everything under control and that we don’t need anyone, but in reality we could all use some assistance. You should not spread yourself too thin and just because someone else volunteers their time to do extra work does not mean that you have to do the same if that is not something that you can handle. For instance, when I knew I had a test and a group project on the same day, I would talk to my group members and tell them that I couldn’t contribute as much on a certain day. This was effective because I let them know ahead of time rather than saying I would do something and then forgetting to do it when they were clearly counting on me.
Write it Out
One must always be aware of his or her stress in order to find ways to manage it properly. Over the course of high school, I learned new ways to deal with my stress. I would keep a journal and do stream of consciousness entries. This is when you write down whatever you’re feeling as you are feeling or thinking it. I found this helpful because it allowed me to express my thoughts on paper and then see where I could make adjustments. Exercising daily was also an effective way to cope with stress as it allowed me to clear my mind. The exercise you choose to perform does not have to be complicated, it can simply be taking a walk outside to get some fresh air.
Make a Schedule
I believe that most of my stress in high school came from feeling as though I did not have enough time. When it came to picking classes, I would always load up on difficult classes that required a lot of work, both in class and outside of class. I now see that I should have come up with a schedule that worked better for me; that means taking one or two rigorous courses that I could handle along with other courses that were not as loaded. If you are rushing to complete assignments and find that you have little free time develop better time management skills, keep a schedule that includes deadlines, as well as time to relax and take a break. Sometimes I like to create mock due dates for assignments to avoid procrastination and get things done earlier.
Engage in Prep Work
If you are anything like me, you probably tend to get a little lost during lectures simply because you are so preoccupied with mindlessly copying down notes from the PowerPoint. To get a better grasp about what your teacher is talking about during lecture, try reading the chapter before the lecture. In high school you will be faced with assignments that seem difficult; however, it is important to break down large assignments into smaller parts that you can work on a little bit each day.
My high school experience consisted mainly of trying to deal with stress. This got in the way of me enjoying high school and making the most of new experiences. Do not allow stress to play a bigger role in your life than it has to because in the end it is truly not worth it. Find methods that help you relax and clear your mind. Have a support system of people who you can easily turn to for help and do not be afraid to ask for help. Some high school courses are more difficult than others; therefore, you must find a way to balance your schedule and make the most of your time. High school is an exciting time in one’s life, and no matter how intimidating it may seem at first, you just have to remember that everything will work out well.
Image Courtesy Paleoplan.com
By Maluck Nawabi