The school year is officially here, and although classes may not have started, we’re still stressing out. No matter what year in high school or college you are in, the school year can sneak up on us when we aren’t looking, and we aren’t always prepared to face long-nights of homework, new responsibilities and pressures of the future. With my four years of high school experience and one year of college experience, here are eleven ideas I came up with that can possibly help you or someone you know in staying stress-free this year!
1. Take Time For Yourself.
This point is imperative when the school year begins. For freshman, both in high school and college, this tip can be difficult because what all first years want to do is meet new people, go out and have fun. However, this can get truly exhausting, and we all need time to breathe now and then. During the day, if you have an hour of free time that isn’t dedicated to homework or meeting with professors, take a nap, watch netflix or read a book. Time is precious when in school, and one needs to take breaks in order to fulfill one’s true potential.
Organization is a major key when in school. If it were up to me, all students in high school and college would need a planner, a reminders board, a visible calendar, and lots and lots of post-its in order to plan for events or be prepared. Obviously, we all learn and retain information differently, and organization can be executed in different ways. So, I suggest that all students need to find the best way for them to be efficient. This could be the simple act of putting a piece of paper in one’s binder instead of messily shoving it into their backpack or it could be writing down everything they need to remember instead of leaving it up to memory.
3. Laugh With Friends.
In high school and college, friends are definitely near the top of the list of things that are most important to us. Friends keep us sane, challenge us to be better people, and most importantly, they make us laugh. It is statistically proven that laughter is good for your heart, and it makes you live longer! Who doesn’t like to laugh? When feeling stressed, call up a friend and talk to them. Smiling and laughter are major stress remedies.
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4. Get Ahead With Homework.
This is a really important and difficult tip. Getting ahead was a huge struggle for me in high school because I was a major procrastinator. I wrote down all my assignments and turned them in on time, however, what happened in between was not so effective for me. In order to keep your school year stress-free, I strongly recommend doing all the homework that is assigned on the day it is assigned. This means taking a few extra hours doing that physics assignment assigned Monday but due Wednesday. Although you lose a few hours of sleep on one day, you gain a few more on the next day. Getting ahead can absolutely help keep your year stress-free, and it will create good habits for the future.
5. Have A Consistent Routine.
I don’t know about you, but when I have a consistent and reliable daily routine, I’m a happy camper! We all have things we do everyday like when to eat breakfast, when to meet with a teacher, or when to go to sports practice. In order to have a consistent routine, one needs to join those clubs or join those teams or one needs to make sure they understand the order of things happening in their day. It’s a simple tip, but it’s important.
I know we all don’t love to exercise, but whenever I do, I can clear my head, listen to music and focus on my body. It’s therapeutic and healthy. We don’t all have to lift weights like those intimidating hardo-s you see in the gym, because we come in different shapes and sizes, but I believe that regular exercise of some sort can keep us sane, especially when stressed. You can do what makes you feel good about yourself whether that is dozens of power cleans or a short walk around your school.
7. Have A Consistent Sleep Schedule.
We all know that sleep is so so so so so important when in school, however, we tend to not get enough of it due to homework, friends, and outing activities. It’s going to happen. It’s inevitable. So what can we do about it? I think the first step is to make sleep the first priority when it comes to one’s sanity. Sure, we all go to school to learn, but sacrificing sleep will only make us crazy (literally). Aim for 7-8 hours a night, which means planning one’s day down to the hour. It sounds difficult to manage, but in order to avoid stress, we must sleep!
8. Eat Three Balanced Meals A Day.
Notice the word: balanced. I’m not talking about waking up late and taking a granola bar out of your snack stash and calling that breakfast, and I’m definitely not talking about skipping dinner and eating ramen in your room so you can finish your homework. I mean going into your dining hall, sitting down and eating three well-balanced meals. Everyday is different, so sometimes we wake up late or have to finish writing essays so we miss meals. This tends to happen, but it can be avoided! If you follow my other tips about organization and getting homework done on time, it can become easier to eat all three meals and get more energy to keep going. Remember: breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
This tip is more personal, and it’s not for everyone, but it can really help relieve stress. Writing is a freeing activity that can make one feel at ease, relaxed and more positive. I’m not suggesting that you journal twenty or more pages a day, but if you take time to write about things that are on your mind or write about things that bother you, it can be a huge relief. Take those little, empty moments and sit down and write.
10. Go Out And, Have Fun.
In high school and college, parties, late night events and other outings occur. Go to one and enjoy. You meet new people, make new friends and see amazing things. This activity is healthy and way stress-free.
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11. Treat Yo Self!
This final tip is an essential. When in stressful situations, you need to treat yo self. This statement is broad is completely up to you. This could mean, buying tickets to see your favorite band, having a spa day, making yourself a nice meal, buying those shoes you’ve had your eye on for months, and the list goes on. Treating oneself is loving oneself. And keeping oneself stress-free is the key to success.
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