As an insecure high school student who has been diagnosed with anxiety, I understand how stressful school can be. Whether you're too focused on getting the highest grades, or you simply have too much on your plate, I hope these tips can help you.
If annyone here watches SpongeBob SquarePants, they may have seen an episode where SpongeBob is preparing for a test. He puts his pencils and pen in a specific order around his notebook in order to be prepared for any possible event. He starts to worry about whether his arrangement is correct, and he starts to freak out, just a bit. Why was he so unsure of himself, you may ask? Well, he waited until the day of the test to get it sorted out! You should have a schedule planned out for everything. "Test 1 is before test 2, so I should study for test one today and tomorrow, and then 2 the next two days, and then get in some review for test 3 coming up just around the corner. That will give me a day before each different test for review." Plans such as this one come in handy, especially during standardized testing. This also works well if you add in after school activities. I was never in any sports, but I was a part of the school debate team. "I have a debate on Wednesday, and today is Sunday. So that gives me today for research, Monday to write down specific points that will come in handy, and Tuesday to write out the full debate." You'll feel so much more confident in yourself if you know you have a schedule all plotted, allowing time for any diversions. This also works for studying.
Try not to procrastinate. If you aren't a big studier, just do a couple of topics each night until the date of the test, and review everything you've studied the day before. OH NO! You have a huge test tomorrow, and have been procrastinating studying all week! Don't worry, you still have a chance. Always be sure to review the topics you have the most difficulty with first. Then you'll have more time to begin understanding the harder topics before your time is up, so you'll have a better chance at getting a high grade. You should move down the list from most difficult to least. Then, if you fall asleep before you can finish studying, you at least have enough knowledge on each topic to get a decent grade. Just be sure to review everything the next morning before you take your exam.
3. GET YOUR REST
A tired mind is a stressed mind. Study right before you fall asleep, then be sure to get the full 8 hours. Your brain actually works as a filing system.While you sleep, unnecessary info gets cleared out, where as important things will be stored away for the next time you need it. This way, you'll be more able to focus on the important test topics the next day, and as long as you review in the morning before your exams, you should be good to go, with a fresh, well rested brain!
4. DON'T SWEAT IT
I understand how you feel. You want to have straight A's, but you also have to focus on your clubs/activities, your social life, possibly a job, and then add your home life struggles onto that. I get it. I was the student who would have a melt down if I saw any numbers below 9s on my test papers. I also spent a full week writing out the perfect essay for my debate team, as well as trying to find a job, and deal with my overbearing family. Just don't sweat the small things.You just got a B on a homework paper, but you're striving for straight A's! What will colleges think of you now?! A B HAS TARNISHED YOUR PERFECT RECORD! Well, that isn't true. Colleges look more at overall grades by the end of each year. If you still worry about how a lower grade will affect you, ask the teacher about the percentage that each paper goes towards the overall grade.If the teacher says any number below 9%, don't sweat it as much. That doesn't mean draw smiley faces all over your math pages, but you can let yourself relax a bit. Those papers won't hurt you much. But on a paper 10% or higher toward your grade, you should study, and try your best.
5. DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP
I used to be terrified of raising my hand in class. I was an honor student, and asking questions in front of the class made me feel inferior. I found that many teachers can be really flexible with their schedules. If you ask a teacher to help explain a certain topic to you during their planning period, lunch time, or before/after school, they'll often help work out a time where you can both meet inside of the school for help. If you're worried about bothering your teacher, just remember that it's the teacher's job, no, duty to help you learn. You are his/her pay check, you deserve plenty of attention. The task of teaching you has fallen onto them, and they've accepted it willingly. If your teacher won't help you with a topic, see if you can find a student who is really good with the class. Maybe they can help you out. If you're still too afraid, ask your school councelors about tutoring programs. Many of your peers may actually enjoy teaching things to other students, and no one would have to know that you're getting help besides the tutor who is assisting you. It never hurts to ask, and you'll be way more confident in yourself when you can fully understand a subject, and you'll worry less.
6. ALLOW FOR BREAKS
Make sure to plan out enough time for you to take small breaks. People who don't take breaks from their work will be less likely to want to start the work in the first place, because all of the stress of doing it will suffocate you. Give yourself 5-10 minutes of you time between every few topics/questions. Use that time to get a snack, step outside, or listen to calming music. If you have a personal issue, take a couple of minutes out of your break time to think over that personal issue in your head. You'll be killing two bird with one stone, studying and solving out-of-school problems all in one time span. Just be sure that the furthest thing from your mind during those breaks is school work. It's your chance to calm down, and destress. What school work? Just be sure to set an alarm for the time you want to start back up again, so that youaren't away so long you're reluctant to start back up.
You're surrounded by people. So talk to them! Make sure you don't only have school on your mind. Take a day or two on the weekends to hang out with people, and not think about your work. You'll have people to talk to when things get rough. Humans are natural pack animals, and we feel at ease just knowing we have other people around. Just be sure to find good people, because the wrong friends can make your life even more filled with stress.
8. FIND OUTLETS
You're so stressed still! All you can think about is school, and work, and troubles! So, what you need to do is find a hobby. Find something you love to do, and spend half an hour or longer doing that hobby at least once a week. This is your time to destress. I've found that painting really helps me, and during that time I can focus on making art. I may not be great, but it makes me feel way better. So go out there and find yourself a hobby!
These aren't fool proof methods to destress, but they're the things that have helped me.Just try to implement these in your daily life, and you should feel at least the tiniest bit better. And remember, keep your head high, and do your best, because that's really all you can do.