Procrastination, time management, and balancing classes can be a student’s worst nightmare, but with the right strategies, balancing the stress of high school is possible.
It’s 9 p.m. and you just came back from work. You decide to relax and spend some time decompressing. That’s when it hits you: you have an essay that’s due at midnight. You start to panic as you scramble to start drafting the essay. Then, you remember that you have to take an important unit test that’s worth 20% of your grade tomorrow. You’re extremely tired, but you stay up late to finish your essay and to study for your test anyway. Nights like these, unfortunately, are typical experiences that most high school students have gone through.
High school can be stressful for a lot of people, mainly because of the intensive workload and commitments outside of classes. Most students have a hard time managing everything that they are involved in and tend to get really stressed out because of it. The most effective way to be successful and stress-free in high school is to manage your time well and practice good study habits. The key to finding the best balance between your responsibilities is to work smarter, and not necessarily harder.
Freshman Saanvi Mavuri has used the first semester as an opportunity to cultivate good habits that she can carry throughout her high school career. Mavuri’s after-school schedule consists of many extracurricular activities and hours spent on studying and homework. Managing all of the things that she’s involved in along with school work has been challenging, but with the right tools and habits, she’s been able to get her work done without getting too overwhelmed. “I have a calendar so it helps [with managing time],” Mavuri said. “I make sure I don’t forget [assignments] by immediately writing it down in my calendar.”
Many high school students that don’t have the greatest time management skills tend to procrastinate a lot and get overwhelmed from school. According to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, one of the best strategies to overcome procrastination is to be proactive. Being proactive means that you take responsibility for everything that you do, and you use good strategies to finish your work effectively.
One of Mavuri’s strategies to avoid procrastinating is to knock out her harder assignments first before she tackles the easier ones. Usually, students tend to wait until the last minute to finish a difficult assignment, and then end up getting stressed out. Mavuri stresses on the importance of not pushing assignments back to the final due date. “[Even though] the due date is so far away, you should get started because it’ll creep up real quick,” Mavuri said.
Another challenging issue for high school students is juggling between various extracurricular activities. “It is quite stressful for me to manage my time, since I do a lot of after school activities,” sophomore Charisse Rose Caparros said. Playing sports and taking after school classes can interfere with students’ homework schedules, so it’s important to plan ahead and be proactive when tackling school work.
Caparros plans to manage her time more efficiently so that she doesn’t get overwhelmed at the last minute when her assignments start to pile up. “I think something I need to improve on to manage my time is to not wait until the last minute to do things,” Caparros said. It’s easy to get distracted from doing schoolwork, so having a schedule to follow can help with avoiding distractions. Caparros has a set schedule that she tries to follow everyday. “I usually have a schedule. I get home, work out, eat dinner, then around 6 or 7, I start on homework,” Caparros said.
Another strategy to avoid getting overwhelmed from school is to balance your classes out. Taking advanced classes when you know you can’t handle the coursework isn’t the best way to stay productive and grow in high school. Many people stress on the importance of only taking advanced classes that you are passionate about, so that the coursework can be manageable and enjoyable. “Don’t pack on more than you can chew,” junior Mariah Waters said.
Waters is involved in many extracurricular activities, so finding time to do homework can be challenging for her. Waters emphasizes that study hall is a great time to finish work in school so that you don’t have to stress about it later. “Use your study hall to the best of your advantage and don’t be afraid to ask for help from your teachers,” Waters said.
High school can be stressful, but it can also be a great learning experience for many students. Students tend to fall into a repetitive cycle of waking up, going to school, doing homework, and then having to do it all over again the next day. However, if students work on the fundamental skills of managing stress and work, school can be a fun place to go to everyday.
This article originally appeared in The Blaze.
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