Kelly Kollias ’15

“It’s not stress that kills us; it is our reaction to it.”

– Hans Selye

With second semester almost over and summer just around the corner, it can be easy to begin to panic and lose hope as teachers pile on seemingly endless amounts of assignments, papers, and tests. Juniors especially may also feel pressure completing SAT/ACT tests, SAT II’s, and preparing for the college process in the fall. But, have no fear! Stress, or this state of mental and emotional strain, can be cured just as easily as the common cold! Simply follow these easy steps to help remove the weight off your shoulders and ease the tension you may feel:

  1. Keep a routine. Keeping an assignment book always helps a student tackle one assignment at a time and feel more in control. Even writing down things you may have already completed and crossing them out can help relieve your panic, because it shows that there are so many things you have already accomplished and can make you feel more productive and proud of yourself!
  2. Take at least a half hour of every day to give yourself some “me time.” Many of us are exhausted after a full day of school and sports; that is why sitting down to have a chat with your family, lying in bed and listening to music, or even reading a good book can always help relax the brain and lead to better functioning during a late night study session! Try to steer clear of Netflix and addicting TV shows that can take hours out of your day – remember, you are relaxing in order to complete your work, not add to your stress by not completing it!
  3. Use your free periods wisely. Many of us know that a typical free period always ends up becoming a time to sit with friends at the couches or chat in the library. However, learning to use these free periods effectively and completing homework assignments can lessen that workload in the evening. Rather than wait until you are home to ponder over the answer of that math problem or the correct conjugations for that Spanish worksheet, utilize your resources and go find teachers to help clear up your questions early! This will also serve useful when it comes time for the test or final exam.
  4. Get a full night’s sleep. We all know the feeling of hearing your alarm go off at 6AM and wanting nothing more than to hit the snooze button for “just another minute.” However, no matter how much workload you have in the end, there is only so much strain you can put on your body: a full night of sleep is detrimental to your mental and physical health, and can not only affect your performance in the classroom, but your attitude towards others.  It can also affect your eating habits.  You can’t rely on caffeine and sugar forever! The average student requires eight to nine hours of sleep a night.
  5. Exercise. We all know those two hours of running or lacrosse or tennis may seem like such a drag at times, but exercise is important to the body and gives you a break from all that studying you’ve been doing throughout your day. Exercise provides a distraction from stressful situations, an outlet for frustrations, and a lift via endorphins.
  6. If you are worried about not passing a test or are having trouble writing your paper, go see your teachers. It can always seem like an easier route blaming a teacher and believing they are the reason you are struggling in a class; however, there is nothing worse than ignoring your resources; instead, utilize them!  Your teachers are here for you and want nothing more than to see you succeed academically–do not be afraid to stop by if you have a question or are worried you don’t understand something.  In addition, hearing a teacher talk about a topic and relaying the information back to them to make sure it is correct always relieves some stress you may hold on your shoulders. Even hearing reassuring words such as “You got it, you will do fine!” from the teacher can ease your worry and make you feel more confident when test day comes around

If you are still feeling stressed and want more information on how to deal with it, please feel free to visit Tower Hill’s very own Dr. Oz online to find out more. Remember, a healthy mindset and body leads to a successful school year!