It’s one-thirty in the morning and you’re still up writing that essay for your History class, but the time doesn’t even phase you. Aah, good ol’ benchmark season and your teachers were not the slightest bit generous this year. Ever since school began, you’ve been moody, tired, antisocial, and irritable. These are symptoms of stress; the one word that affects us high-schoolers the most.
But why is that? What causes all of this stress in teens?
“Receiving school work I don’t know how to complete even after asking the teacher about it causes me stress,” says sophomore Siani Davis. “It affects my attitude towards my friends and generally how I feel throughout the day.”
At SLA, stress also has a four year course. Many upperclassmen say that their stress comes from more specific areas, such as standards and college applications. “Tests stress me out the most,” agrees junior Vaughn Matthews.
A universal stress factor among students of all grades is the amount of schoolwork they receive. SLA mentor and advisor Zoe Siswick says: “Students have a high level of stress at times, but in some sense it’s also kind of stress free. They don’t have a ton of responsibilities outside of making sure you’re getting your schoolwork done. The amounts of stress in students sort of ebb and flow depending on the time of year.”
So from hearing all that, you’re probably wondering how you can get rid of this wretched stress immediately. Well, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that while you’re in high school, the chances of you completely obliterating the stress you feel are slim to none. The good news is that there are some easy and quite effective ways to relieve it. After doing some research, I’ve found some ways to lower your stress levels and help you to breathe a bit easier, even with a huge speech due tomorrow.
Yes, another S word, and one that seems even scarier than ‘stress’. To this day, most high-schoolers don’t even know how to successfully get a full eight-hours; it’s usually a five-hour rest with a series of broken up three-hour after school crashes on the couch. We’ve all been there, having our sleep schedule being brutally slaughtered during the summer and having no way to resurrect it once school starts. It’s a struggle to try and fall asleep (and stay asleep) but I urge you, please do it! Sleeping is vital to your health, and it also makes you feel great when you do. Try turning off your phone fifteen or so minutes before bed, to ease the temptation to use it later on. It really does help and the final result is incredibly rewarding, trust me.
I know, I know, another opportunity for me to sound like your doctor. “A healthy diet and excercise…”. Bleh. I would totally eat a bag of pretzels over an orange any day for a snack. And honey, do it! Don’t skip that 6-pack of oreos to scarf down a head of lettuce. But make sure you’re lessening the amounts of unhealthy foods you eat, and increasing the amounts of healthy ones. Also, make sure you eat a filling breakfast. Eating in the morning, like so many people, makes me feel sick but I have to at least have a banana or a granola bar to start my day. It’s so helpful and it makes you feel great later on, it also keeps your stomach from doing the rumblies before you realize you have late lunch that day.
Organization is key to having a cleanly and neat life. Managing your time, working space, and even supplies will help you feel more on top of things. I know when everything is in its place I feel a sense of calmness even in a chaotic situation. Keeping a planner is a great way to remember what you have to do and it helps to distribute your time thoroughly for each assignment that you’re required to do.
Maintaining a healthy social life is a great way to A. remain sane, and B. enjoy your teen years! I know being social isn’t for everybody (I didn’t forget you, introverts) but you should make sure that you are constantly making time for fun in your life. Like what I’ve said for many of the items on this list, they definitely aren’t easy to do, but they are very worth it. Got a big test coming up? Of course study and make sure you fully understand the material, but don’t let it consume you! Watch a movie, draw; do something that’s therapeutic to you at least once a week.
Stress is a huge part of your high school years, but it’s up to you to determine how it will affect you. Yes, you may have one week to turn a C into a B, but don’t let that be something that you lose sleep over. Understand that school is a very important part of your life and future, but keep in mind that your health is something you should value a lot more. So remember, turn off Instagram a few minutes earlier tonight, drink a few more cups of water, hang out with some friends this weekend, and j u s t b r e a t h e.
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