We're only about a month into school, and it already feels like we have a test or a quiz or a project every day. Most nights my homework takes me about 5 hours, and I know many of my friends are having similar experiences with their classes. When the workload is really intense, it's easy to get stressed out and lose sight of the real goal of school: to enjoy learning. This article will suggest a few ways to keep your stress levels lower and your happiness levels higher:
1) Have a planner, and use it.
Friends Academy gives all students a planner at the beginning of each year, but I know not everyone uses it. If you don't like the school-provided planner, Staples has plenty with different designs- some spiral, some leatherbound, some colorful, some not. Using a planner allows you to keep track of all your assignments, and reduces the chance that you will come to class unprepared.
2) Use your weekends wisely.
As a senior who feels like all I do is work, I understand wanting to just forget about school on the weekend. While you should use the weekend as a time to catch up with friends, you should also try to get ahead on homework for the week. Knocking out some textbook readings in advance can seriously cut down on the amount of time you have to devote to homework during the week. I did this in junior year with my APUSH readings, and it made my weeknights much easier.
3) Break down assignments into small chunks.
A 5-page research paper or a large test may seem terrifying, and you might not know where to start. Breaking an assignment into smaller pieces will allow you to set up an easier schedule for completing an assignment. Saying “I’m going to have 5 sources and notecards done by Monday” is a lot more manageable than saying “I have a research paper due in 3 weeks.” If you are unsure of how to break an assignment up, go talk to your teacher- they will almost definitely be happy to help.
4) Remember to eat.
This tip seems silly, but when you are constantly on the go, you might think it’s not a big deal to miss breakfast to sleep in for 5 more minutes or skip dinner to finish your bio homework. Food is fuel for your brain, and if you don’t give your brain fuel you’ll feel the effects in your productivity and energy. Keep healthy snacks in your bag and your car to make remembering to eat easier.
5) Plan at least one fun thing a week.
All work and no play will make anyone unhappy. While you probably need to focus most of your time on school (especially for seniors working on college apps), I believe it’s very important to plan at least one thing a week that you can look forward to. Make every Friday night a movie night, or get lunch on Sundays with that friend you don’t see as much during the school day. Having something to look forward to can make trucking through all that schoolwork a little more bearable.
6) Take some time to relax.
Whether it’s taking a bath, listening to some music, going for a run or playing with your pets, giving yourself a breather from the stress of high school can make you more productive and happier in the long run.
7) Get enough sleep.
Especially for teenagers, sleep is the best way to ensure a reduction in stress. While it’s incredibly difficult to get 8 hours a night, it’s so important for your health and your mental well-being. Having enough sleep will ward off illness, help you focus in class, and make you more productive.