High Schooler’s Survival Guide to Stress

By Tessa Rendina

The pressures to have good grades while being well-rounded can cause students to overwhelm themselves.  “Stress is so different for every individual.  What stresses one out may not affect another at all.  I would define stress as the pressure that one feels from adverse circumstances or perceived adverse circumstances” says Arundel High School’s Psychologist Rebecca Schrader.  Between rigorous class schedules, extracurriculars, jobs, and the inevitable future after high school, students are experiencing more and more stress.

Below are some tips for each grade level on how to prevent and deal with stress.

  1. Schrader offered this advice to freshman:  “First and foremost, become involved in something.  Whether it is sports, theatre, clubs, etc.  High school can be large and overwhelming. Becoming involved in a small group makes you feel connected.  Second, take the time to do homework.  In middle school, it is easier to understand content and do well on tests without the homework help.”
  2. Sophomores might be starting their first Advanced Placement courses and should work on time management.  Being involved is still important, but be aware that AP classes are more work and time.
  3. Juniors should “be organized” says Schrader. “Figure out what way works best for you to keep track of assignments.  Don’t procrastinate.  Write down due dates and figure out when to work on each aspect so that you are not pulling an all-nighter.  And figure out a stress relieving activity, such as running, reading, music or art to help relieve the physical effects of stress”
  4. Finally Schrader suggests for seniors to “Embrace new experiences.  Figure out who YOU are.  Try to meet as many new friends as possible.  While doing all of this, have a goal and work towards it.”

Being stressed out because of having too much going on is ok now and then.  It’s alright for students to take a couple fun electives they are interested in.  If life gets out of control take a day to relax on the weekend, go for a run, dance to your favorite song or take a nap.  Drinking water, eating healthy and getting enough sleep will also help.

Do not be afraid to ask for help.  Schrader is here on all five school days and can see a student without parent permission once.