High school can be an incredibly stressful time even when everything is going well – there are exams to worry about, as well as the future after graduation. Added to that are personal issues that can come at a time when appearance and the opinion of peers are so very important. Many teens find themselves arguing with parents, simply because of a lack of mutual understanding. However, this personal stress can be managed perfectly well, provided that you put some thought into your actions and make an attempt to understand others. Some ways of coping with personal stress while at high school include:
Learning when to walk away
There are times when people will say things to you that you don’t like or agree with. You need to think hard before you react; don’t forget that your words can’t be erased once said. There are times to fight back, especially if you think your point of view needs to be heard, but there are other times when it is simply not worth getting into an argument. Arguments tend to get out of control very quickly and you may find yourself in the middle of a situation that you would really rather avoid. Turning the other cheek and walking away may well be the best policy for minimum stress.
Considering your family
Stress can often come from your family. Your parents may still treat you like a child, while you want to be treated like an adult. You may find that they are constantly nagging you about your studying, who you associate with and your plans for the future. If you react by losing your temper, you are only going to prove to them that you aren’t really old enough to cope with life on your own. Instead, listen patiently, tell them what they want to hear and stick to it as best as you can. Creating a war zone at home isn’t conducive to a stress-free existence; remember that your family only want the best for you.
High school can be an exciting time, with all sorts of opportunities to socialise and meet new people. For some, late nights and alcohol can become part of the lifestyle. The occasional party can do no harm, but consistently staying out late and not sleeping properly is bound to take its toll. There is no reason why you have to study incessantly – you need to take a break sometimes – but if you leave studying until the last minute, the stress of that and everything else that is going on in your life could just be too much. Make sure that you also eat and exercise sensibly.
Asking for help when necessary
You may feel as though you are old enough to know what you are doing, but there are always times when a helping hand is needed. This could be to do with your studies or your personal life, but there is always going to be someone around who can help or offer advice. Pick the person you approach carefully, depending on what is causing you stress. You may be tempted to turn to a friend, but make sure it is the right friend, especially if you are sharing details that you would really rather no-one else found out about. Sometimes, admitting to an adult that you need some help is the best thing to do.
It can be hard, especially when you are feeling stressed about personal issues and all you want to do is share them with a friend, but try to prioritise your studying. Sit down at the beginning of each semester and draw up a timetable. Then, more importantly, stick to your timetable. If you leave all your studying until the last minute, you probably won’t do very well and the stress that this will cause you could be overwhelming. If you complete chores as you go, your stress levels will be much lower – and you will have time to treat yourself on a regular basis.
If you are the type to study hard, cutting your social life down to a minimum so that you can get everything completed, this is going to be just as stressful as cramming at the last minute. You need to be able to get out and about and have a good time with friends. If you are the quiet type, then stick to a couple of friends whom you know and trust and organise activities with them – even if it is only a trip to the cinema, or a night in front of a DVD. You need time to let your hair down and enjoy yourself; then when you get back to your studies, you will be refreshed and raring to go.
High school can be enormously stressful, but there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to cope with it and come out at the end of it all with a good qualification and the confidence to go forth into the world.