How to Deal with Stress in High School

Photo by Kaboompics // Karolina from Pexels

Trinity Cortes, Contributor

One of the many challenges that comes with being a high school student is the constant stress of trying to do well. Many students experience this stress, and the number affected has drastically increased throughout all areas of education. With tests, quizzes, homework, and all other challenges brought on by high school, students often don’t know how to handle it. This stress not only affects students’ academic performance, but it affects their personal lives as well. According to the Huffington Post, an Associated Press/MTV survey stated that school was the most frequently-mentioned source of stress for 13 to 17-year-olds. The stress of high school ultimately hinders students’ chances to learn and perform to the best of their ability.

A large source of this stress is fear. In a statement to the Huffington Post, Susan Stiffelman, physcotherapist and author of “Parenting Without Power Struggles,” said, “I think it all ties into fear. Fear of not getting into a college, fear of not getting financial support if that’s what you need, fear of not shining in college or in high school so that you’re employable. Fear is a powerful motivator, but it also creates and generates tremendous amounts of stress.” While fear of not doing well in school is inevitable, there are many ways to cope with the stress created by it.

One way to do this is to manage your time wisely. In an interview with Katie Coen, a Nashoba sophomore, she expressed that a large source of her stress is not having time to do all of her work. She states that a big problem is, “Studying and doing homework while also trying to keep up with social and extracurricular activities. It is hard to maintain friends when you have so many deadlines.” A large part of stress for high schoolers comes with the pressure of doing well in school while trying to maintain a healthy social life at the same time. To fix this, Stiffelman suggests that you “list what you have going on, and list how much time each thing is going to take. Chunking things down makes them feel more manageable and less anxiety-inducing.”  In order to avoid this problem, you can organize and manage your time wisely to get everything done with less pressure.

Another way to deal with and reduce stress in school is to put yourself first. So many students are worried about getting things done rather than considering their own mental health, which takes a large toll on how they perform in class. Stiffelman says, “You have to give your organism the means to cope with stress, and that includes healthy food, non-harmful substances, sleep, and downtime.” Katie recommends to, “Take breaks when studying or doing homework to regain strength and relax.” Taking breaks and giving your body some rest will allow for a calmer mind and a better ability to get things done without worrying too much.

One option that most teenagers overlook is to ask for help. Katie suggests, “If you’re really stressed about a test or quiz, talk to your teacher and get some help.” Many students don’t like this option because they don’t want to work or study with teachers, but what they don’t realize is how helpful it can be. Asking your teacher for help will let you get a better understanding of the material and will lower the stress of not knowing how to do something.

Although many students struggle with stress in high school, figuring out how to handle it will have a large impact on their ability to learn. By following these steps and learning to cope with stress, you can make your high school experience a little more relaxing.