How to Handle College Stress

For Juniors and Seniors

Stress+for+Juniors+and+Seniors+Continues+to+Mount+
Stress for Juniors and Seniors Continues to Mount

Stress for Juniors and Seniors Continues to Mount

Photo by: The Knight Times

Photo by: The Knight Times

Stress for Juniors and Seniors Continues to Mount

Elizabeth Grant, Editor-In-Chief

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Junior and senior year are undeniably the most stressful year of high school life. For the majority of students, becoming an upperclassman seems all too easy–until you actually become one. Thoughts about beginning the college application process, actually going to college, and simply trying to stay afloat in school can keep upperclassmen up at night. And it doesn’t help that the entire world knows it too.

Family members and younger friends are constantly asking, “So where are you going to college?” and keeping stress at the forefront of the minds of too many of our students. It seems that everybody in America reveres the transition from high school to college, and can’t seem to stop reminding students of just how important this transition is. And talking about it daily can not be the way to keep students from over-worrying about it.

For students taking AP/Honors classes, this stress can mount even more into stress about their performance in high school. Grades can become the center of a student’s world, every grade on a test or quiz the focus of all of their energy.

“I just want to have fun my senior year.” It’s a statement I think we’ve all heard. It seems that more and more, senior year seems as if it is the time to take a break. But why do students need a break? Why haven’t they been having fun throughout all of high school? For a vast majority of students, the invisible hand of college anxiety keeps them focused on school-related activities. Instead of creating life-long memories with friends, students may feel compelled to just stay at home and finish that homework assignment.

So what can we do about it?

Some high schools advise their students to understand that just because you don’t have an answer to the question “So what are you doing for college?” doesn’t mean that they can’t answer it. In other words, “I’m still deciding, “I’ll get back to you when I know,” or simply explaining that talking about it can make you stressed can actually help the questions stop. Talking to parents and family members about the fact that it’s okay to not know is the first step in finding a stress remedy.

Sleep and exercise may also be keys to dealing with stress. The truth is that without sleep, focusing in class is more difficult; and without focus, grades tend to slip and cause even more stress to the student. Sleep is not only necessary for health and functionality, but may be a key way to get rid of excess anxiety. Exercise is also important when discussing net happiness and peace of mind. Exercising leads to the release of dopamine in the brain, which has been scientifically proved to clear the mind and make one a happier person. Some of its notable functions are in movement, memory, behavior and cognition, attention, mood, and learning–all important tools needed to combat the stress of junior and senior year.

In the end, relieving college stress comes down to two things: health and communication. Keeping oneself healthy, especially in the brain, can help you remember that life is more than grades, but also keep you ready to learn at any moment. Communication, whether through friends, family, or even strangers, can also help. It allows the people around you empathize with you and to understand what you are going through in a way that can keep daily anxiety about college at bay.

For more advice on how to handle stress of any kind, you can visit https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-management.htm to learn more.

To submit any suggestions for more self-help articles (or to write one of your own and submit it), you can email us at: [email protected]

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