Best Ways to Deal with Stress at School
Every student feels stressed out by school. Some students are constantly stressed out, feeling consistent pressure from their classes, their friends, their parents, their teachers, their extracurriculars, etc. Other students might only ever feel occasionally stress, before a big test or a performance for example. No matter the source of the stress or how often it is felt, dealing with that stress will prevent it from consuming the student. Here are some of the best ways to deal with stress at school.
1. Create a stick to a schedule.
You already obviously have your class schedule, but what about all of the studying, homework, and extracurricular activities that you want to participate in? How can you make sure that you are getting everything you need to do done and preventing anything from falling through the cracks? Creating a schedule is the best way, but only if you stick to it. Write down when you are going to work on projects, do your homework, and when you have meetings or activities to attend so you stay on top of everything.
2. Get enough sleep.
It can be tempting just to stay up late to try to get more homework done, to get in more studying, or to watch another episode of your favorite television show. Teenagers need between eight and teen hours of sleep in order to function during their days. Make sure you arrange your schedule so that you actually have enough time to get the sleep that you need. Sufficient sleep will make you more alert in classes, more motivated to get your homework done, and will ensure you have the energy to participate in afterschool activities.
3. Ditch your bad friends.
Too many teens spend way too much time hanging out with people who demean them. If you’re in a “Mean Girls” situation, you can cut the drama out of your life by removing yourself from those people. Find friends that you can actually rely on and that share your interests. Your friends should build you up, not tear you down. If you are legitimately being bullied, be sure to bring the issue to teachers, administrators, and your parents. Keeping asking for help until you find an adult who will help you.
4. Have a hobby that helps you escape from school.
This can actually be an activity that is hosted by the school (like playing football or joining band), but it should actually be something that you enjoy—not something you are just doing to get a few points on your college applications. This should be something that helps you relax after school, gets your mind off of the stress, and even helps you work through that stress.
5. Stop procrastinating.
A lot of the stress that many teens experience is self-inflicted. They wait until the night before a ten page paper is due to start working on it. They put off studying for a big test until the lunch hour before they have to take it. Procrastination always generates stress and contrary to popular belief, you do not work better under pressure. You will simply feel more and more stress during the time you could be working on that project or studying for that test. Instead of putting it off, get it done as soon as possible.
6. Keep perspective.
It can be devastating to get a D on a test that you thought you had studied really hard for, but you need to keep this grade in perspective. How much of an effect is that grade really going to have on your final grade? Can you use it as a motivator to do even better on the next test? And how much is your grade in this class really going to affect you in the long run? No college is going to see that specific test grade. Even if your parents are upset, they will get over it. Obsessing too much over things that you cannot change (like a bad grade on a test) will only stress you out more.
7. Be reasonable.
We all either know someone or are that someone that gets upset if they do not get a perfect score on every test. This is simply an unreasonable goal. There is no way that you can be perfect all of the time. It’s stressful, it’s destructive, and it doesn’t actually help you succeed in your classes. This doesn’t mean that you should become a slacker. It just means that you should be reasonable about what you expect from yourself. If geometry isn’t your best subject, beating yourself up every time you get a B or a C on a test just isn’t going to help your sanity.
8. Work on one thing at a time.
If you pile all of your homework in front of you, you are obviously going to become stressed out looking at the amount of work you need to do. Don’t do this! Start with one assignment and then just keep working, working on one class at a time. You’ll find yourself snowballing, getting more and more done, and you won’t stress about how much work you have to do.
9. Give yourself a time out.
If you are starting to feel that you are so stressed out that you cannot even think, you need to take a time out. If you are at home, working on your homework, push back from your desk and go for a walk. If you are in class, put your head down on your desk and just breathe for a minute. Give yourself a minute to just relax. You might find you only need to take a few deep breaths in order to feel ready to keep working.