Concerning You: Stress Level

By Simone Schenkel (Science & Technology Editor, Columnist) [?]

Published: April 8, 2009 and Updated: April 10, 2009
Reprinted From The Windward Bridge

This year, I have decided to create a column to which we, as adolescents, can relate. There are just some things that need to be addressed. These are our lives, and these topics concern us. Without further adieu, I'd like to start with the topic of "back-to-school fever." Most of us are still in the summer mood, and with the weather in LA, we're still wearing our summer clothes. What's more, fall only started September 21st, further contributing to our residual attachment to summer. But, despite the rays of sun, the school year has commenced. It can, and probably will, take more than just a little adjustment to get back to school routine. We dread it more than anything, but it's inevitable, so you can choose to either cope with it, or wallow. I am going to try my best to suck it up and take the high road. For those of you who are going to cope, like me, I've taken the liberty of researching some tips that could help you get a running start. And for the rest of you, trust me from experience: wallowing won't give you satisfying results. Thankfully, there are ways to get your year off to a good (better) start.

To start off, stress levels at the beginning of the year are a killer.

So, to relieve the pressure a bit, studies highly suggest getting a sufficient amount of sleep. That doesn’t mean going to bed at 1 am after finishing homework and waking up at 6 am to put the finishing touches on that term paper; I mean a legitimate nights rest. That constitutes a solid 8 hours of sleep. Not on the couch with your books sopping with drool, but in your bed, with the lights out. You may not think that sleep can make things easier, but at the end of the day, if you’re not tired, you won’t be as stressed about getting your assignments done.

On the subject of work, (which unfortunately seems to be a recurring theme for most of us), time management is crucial. There are those of us who go straight home and get all their work done before dinner, and others who keep saying they’ll get it done, but wait until late at night to cram it all in. The latter brings about copious amounts of stress. Planning ahead and managing time can take the pressure off. To do so, I suggest creating a routine that is efficient, and when you’ve got it down, life will be a whole lot easier, or at least a lot less stressful. You need to do whatever works for you, whether it’s creating a schedule, breaking up your studies, etc. Just remember, this is for you; what others do for themselves may not work for you, and vice versa.

Once you’ve got that routine down, it is important to commit. Making a commitment gives you the peace of mind that you’ve got it all within your grasp. That efficiency that goes with practicing your routine will ultimately get you the results you want. And what’s more, you’ve got the satisfaction of getting those results all by yourself. If you commit to it, the stress of not knowing if you studied enough and so forth will dissipate because you’ll have the confidence of knowing you can get it all done.

And last but not least, don’t forget to take a breather. Work isn’t the only thing that gives us pressure. We’ve also got that added stress from our parents, our teachers, and for a lot of us, ourselves. That combination alone is enough to put someone in a mental facility. So take some time, every day, to just chill. It doesn’t have to be for long, as I know most of us don’t have much time as it is, but even a few minutes for a little “you time.” It’s important to stay grounded and not get ahead of yourself.

Happy studying!

Editor's Note: Simone's column will appear every wednesday for the rest of April

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