Tips to Alleviate Academic Stress

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Tips for Stress Relief

High school can be extremely stressful as balancing academics, extracurriculars, and a social life seems impossible. As a result of the grueling demands of high school, teenagers tend to overstress, but personally, I have used a few key tricks to effectively manage my own stress levels. High school is essentially a game, a game you must first understand to win. 

1. Plan out your weekly schedule

I find it extremely helpful to create a rough draft of my weekly plans, so I know what assignments I have due this week and how to fit my homework plans around my extracurriculars. For example, if you know you have a test on Wednesday, but you’re working for three hours on Tuesday, I would know to study on Monday. 

2. Prioritize!

Sometimes we are tempted to do the easy assignments first simply to feel productive. However, prioritize what is due first, and then look towards the weight of the assignment to choose which assignment to focus on next. As students, sometimes we must choose between going out or staying home to finish an essay. 

3. Listen to music

Classical music is scientifically proven to help the brain process while studying. Create a calming playlist to listen to while you’re studying to keep yourself focused on the study materials and create an upbeat playlist to listen to while you take a break. Music is the easiest way to alleviate stress. If you are looking for a study playlist, I attached my personal one below!

4. Give yourself mental breaks

As tempting as it is, do not study without a break for over an hour. It becomes more difficult to focus as more time passes by without a mental break. Take a 5-10 minute break for every 30 minutes that you spend studying. It will allow you to organize your thoughts and process what you just studied. 

5. Write things down! Get Organized!

We often feel overwhelmed if we forget an important task we were supposed to do. To remedy this, write down your assignments and write down some positive notes for yourself to start the day off with! An agenda is the easiest tool to help us refresh our memories. 

6. Sleep. Please. Sleep.

I set a personal rule for myself. If it’s past 11:30 pm and I’m still doing my work, I stop working and go to bed. It’s simple. Your health is a greater prioritize than the grade of one test. Without adequate sleep, we become more stressed as it becomes harder to focus. Not only does this jeopardize our health, but also our ability to focus on a specific task or test. A lack of sleep harms the brain.  

7. Go out and enjoy a quick dinner break with your friends

Balance your academic life with your social life by taking study breaks to go out for a meal with your friends. Personally, spending time with my friends alleviates a lot of my stress. Place your well-being and happiness first. 

8. Study in advance

Procrastination is often our greatest adversary. By putting things to the very end, we place unnecessary burdens on ourselves. To avoid this, set hard goals and deadlines for yourself to study two days before the test. 

9. Use your calendar!

Our calendars allow us to keep up with future outings and activities. Use an electronic calendar to mark important dates such as school dances, competitions, or deadlines. The calendar is an essential component to staying organized. 

10. Focus on the positives

As high schoolers, we are often too harsh on ourselves. Focus on the positives and praise the accomplishments in your life instead of constantly worrying about what could be improved or what you should have done. Go with the flow and live your teenage life! Don’t get too caught up on the little things and overthink!

Ariel Zhou

Ariel is a student at Vestavia Hills High School and a member of the Springboarders program.

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