As Campion students enter the last weeks of the semester and finals are approaching, it's easy to become overwhelmed and stressed.
Having stress isn’t always a bad thing; in fact, it's proven to be beneficial. However, stress becomes dangerous when it is uncontrolled and at a high level. It can easily sneak up on teens, and when not managed appropriately, it creates a snowball effect.
All teenagers are different, stress for some may be triggered differently than others. In high school, one of the most common sources of stress is academics. Teens often worry about meeting academic expectations either made by themselves, parents, or even teachers.
Sandy Eickmann, a professional counselor for over 20 years, shared some tips on how to cope and minimize stress levels.
Eickmann's biggest tip for dealing with academic stress is to not procrastinate. “The first step is to just get up and do it. Don’t let yourself have time to make excuses,” she said. This may seem easier said than done, but it's quite simple. When you first get told about an assignment, start it immediately. This will save much stress and anxiety in the long run.
“Secondly, you need to discipline yourself. Set a specific time and goal. For example, if you need to get an assignment done, tell yourself you're not allowed to watch TV (or check your phone) until you finish it,” Eickmann added.
Some teenagers suffer with test anxiety. “During the test, make sure to breathe in deeply and exhale quickly. While taking a test, don’t focus on what others are doing, just focus on yourself,” Eickmann explained.
During finals week, Eickmann encouraged students to get a good night's rest and eat healthy nutritious meals. “This will give you the energy and focus you need,” she said.
Teens under stress may change their eating or sleeping habits and avoid normal daily activities. As students it's important to pay attention to your fellow classmates. If you notice behavioral changes in a friend, such as becoming agitated or depressed, make sure to check on and encourage him or her to seek help.
Remember you're not alone. Get together with friends to work on homework and prep for tests. Don’t be afraid to ask your teachers for help; Campion teachers genuinely care about the success of each student!
Bentlee Barry, Student News Team