Laura is a 17-year-old from Ontario, Canada. She enjoys reading, traveling, and music. In her free time, she loves watching Friends reruns.
Essays! Presentations! Assignments! Tests! Deadlines! High school is stressful. Each year, we are presented with new challenges which we must overcome. Each week is filled with homework that can sometimes build up if we do not keep on top of our studies. As we advance in grade level each year, the difficulty and amount of work only amplifies. At times, it seems like we will never complete the work expected of us. This is not even including part-time jobs and participation in numerous athletics and extra-curricular activities that many of us add to our schedule.
Senior year only adds to the workload we already have. If the past three years of high school seemed demanding, this year is all the more. It is the last year before our post-secondary studies or work begins, and a whole new set of tasks are added. We must decide which career we want to pursue, which university we will attend- if we will even attend university – and basically what we want to do with the rest of our lives. This is a lot of pressure for a seventeen-year-old. I haven’t even mentioned the extra work required for applying for scholarships and awards. That is an additional challenge.
During these times, especially in the fall and early winter, it is difficult for a senior to cope with the amount of choices they must make and work they must complete. We are thrown into a whirlwind of decisions that will affect our future. This is, simply put, terrifying. For the first time, we are beginning to fully comprehend that the outcome of this year will have monumental impacts on the years ahead. Sometimes it feels as if our time has run out and we should already have all of the answers.
This is what it feels like at first. But don’t worry; there are some things that can make all of this a lot easier. Time management is critical this year, and if you master this, you will still have time for a social life.
How to Manage Teen Stress: Effective Stress Problem Solving
1. A constantly updated agenda is crucial this year. It will help you balance your work, athletics, extra-curriculars and homework schedule. Don’t fall behind because you are unaware of dates!
2. Make a list of all of the scholarship deadlines. These are important. The dates are non-negotiable. Do a little research; it will be worth it in the long run. Many scholarships go unclaimed because people are unaware of their existence! It may seem like the applications and essays take up a lot of time, but it will be the one time in your life when you can be paid thousands of dollars for an hour or two of work if you do receive one.
3. Apply for university or college before the deadline arrives. Be aware of this deadline long in advance. The last few days before the deadline, online applications tend to freeze up and university websites will crash due to the volume of applications being received. Don’t let this happen to you. You will be thankful you applied those extra two weeks before.
4. Ask for help. Your parents or other older relatives or friends are often glad to share their experiences preparing for university, proof read your essays and just be there for moral support when you feel overwhelmed.
5. Always remember to make time to relax and unwind. It is not healthy to constantly be stressing, and a buildup of pressure can push us over the edge. Take breaks for fresh air, walks with your dog, chats with your friends and family, and to bake yummy chocolate chip cookies- another source of stress relief!!