Stress Management

Practice SAT’s tomorrow with an AP Government exam right after it; A chemistry and math project at the same time; homework as far as the eye can see and to top it all off, three tests on Friday…PA-TSA, does this situation sound familiar to you?

As middle school or high school students, it most likely does unfortunately. Overlapping long term assignments, exorbitant amounts of homework, and multiple tests to study for has become a normal part of many student’s lives—and that’s excluding the extracurricular activities that they might be a part of.  Although participating in extracurricular activities such as TSA, and focusing on studies will ultimately be worth it, they can often be very stressful to complete—especially after being discouraged by that long to-do list. But during my years of participation in clubs like TSA and time spent in high school, I have managed to learn a few stress management skills through both experience and advice from my peers. With a strong intent to guide those that face the similar issue of stress management, I recommend you to read through some of the pieces of advice I found useful, as they proved extremely helpful when I was experiencing a great amount of stress.

 

Organize. Keep a list of all of the clubs that you do, and all of the homework assignments, both short term and long term, so that you can see very clearly all of the things that you have to work on. With a physical list in front of you, you can cross off tasks as you complete them, which I have found gives you a better idea of how much work still needs to be done. Plus, if you’re really stressed, looking back on all of the things that you have already done might make you feel a little bit better.

Prioritize. Know what’s most important to you. Hopefully your schoolwork is more important than extracurricular activities, but it will be beneficial if you’re even more specific than that. Have an idea of what classes need more time and attention. Regardless of the reason, it is helpful to know what should be completed or studied first, and what can be saved until later in the evening, or even a study hall during the day.

 

Don’t worry. Be happy. It is very likely that at some point in your middle/high school career, you will either forget something, or have too much to do in one night, or even study the wrong material for a test. These inevitable mistakes obviously range from insignificant to massive—but there’s no way to avoid them forever. The important thing to remember, however, is that you can’t let these mistakes get to you. Obviously you should remember them, and try your best to not let it happen again, but do you best to not dwell on them for so long that it interferes with getting other things done. You have to remember that resilience plays a key role in academics and extra curricular activities. Also, try to remind yourself that one homework, one quiz, one TSA event, one officer campaign does not affect you that much in the grand scheme of things, so I encourage you to not get bogged down by the little things that cause stress in your life. Take your mind off of whatever is discouraging you by playing video games or spending time with the family—after your brain is refreshed and charged, it will be much easier to forget about little incidents that occurred in the past and start thinking about the accomplishments you can achieve in the future.