Going back to school after almost a 7 week holiday, I find myself looking forward to settling back into the routine. Structure is one of the things about school that I do like – you sit in a classroom for 52 minutes, do your best work – repeat this a few times before a break, then continue. For 200 days a year.
But as I’m currently discovering, it’s also easy to feel stressed, nervous and overwhelmed at the idea of a new school year. Here are my best tips for surviving a new school year as a stressed student.
- Before School Starts
This year, I’m choosing to be dedicated to reducing my school-related stress and anxiety. I have developed a habit over the years of failing to be properly organised – so when exam time rolls around, I lose it.
Being more organised is something I’ve always struggled with, and now I’ve found that doing just a few small things every day makes a massive difference to my stress. I have an alarm set on my phone to go off twice a day – reminding me to check my calendar and diary. Keeping these up to date with my life and each other helps me get on top of things early – I’m actually writing this post a few days in advance, because I knew I would be busy later.
Get a family friend to remind you of your organisation goals, or set an alarm like I have – and try to get into routine in a holiday or break, so that when school rolls around, you already have your routine going. The important thing is to build a habit, so being organised feels like routine, not a chore.
2. During the Term
In all my thinking about how I was going to de-stress my school year, I came up with a few definite things I need to practice while I’m at school.
The first is massively important but so difficult for pretty much everyone who is struggling with their mental health – talking to others. I always feel embarrassed or annoying when I speak to people about my stress, and that just isn’t right. I’ve decided to talk to one of my teachers right at the beginning of the year, and ask them to tell me when they see me starting to get stressed. I often don’t realise my own decline, and this way I already have support if I need it. Talk to someone you trust about keeping an eye out for you.
The second thing I need to work on is blatantly obvious, but something I struggle with – paying attention in class. My sister, Beanz, and I have very different study styles. She works hard in class and gets to relax at home, whereas I do the opposite. While I prefer to study in my own environment, talking to my friends instead of working hard in class means I study ridiculously hard at home and end up a panicky mess. Make the most of your time with your teachers, and there will be less to do at home when your favourite show is on.
Catch part two tomorrow!