Managing the stress of a new school year

The WSS has compiled a list of six tips to cope with the stress that comes with the beginning of a new school year.

Whether you’re a senior, freshman or someone in between, a new school year is quite the adjustment. Going from sleeping all day to studying all night can be hard to manage, so take a tip from these six stress-management strategies.


Sleep – not caffeine

Picture this – it’s three o’clock in the morning. You’re in your bedroom, surrounded by textbooks, piles of loose paper and insurmountable amounts of eraser shavings when you realize that you are supposed to be up for school in three hours. Believe me, we’ve all been there. We’ve all experienced that mentality of  “getting an A on this test is more important than getting eight hours of sleep.” Well, maybe not. Staying up all night studying and grabbing an iced coffee on the way to school the next morning will eventually become a vicious cycle. You will feel far more awake and ready to face the day on a good chunk of sleep than on a bunch of caffeine. The stress of a body on little sleep is not something an overexerted student needs to deal with.



Nobody is perfect, and nobody can do everything all the time. Instead of pushing yourself to do every piece of homework you have tonight, just push yourself to do what is most important right now. Before getting started, think about what you need to do today, and what you can take a little more time on, as well as which classes require your attention the most. For example, if you know you have a math quiz tomorrow, and you have an English essay due in a few days, it is probably wiser to study for your quiz first. Then, if you have enough energy left you can work on the essay. Or, if you have an A in one class and a C in another, it is probably wiser to do the work for your second class, since you can afford the possibility of missing an assignment in a class you have an A in.


Write everything down

Homework, test dates, doctor’s appointments – anything that you may need to remember. Write it down. Whether it be in a planner, a loose piece of paper, or even the back of your hand, make sure it’s recorded. Knowing you can look back and see exactly what is and what will be going on just gives you one less thing to have to memorize, because math formulas and historic dates are more than enough for one brain.



Step away and breathe

It may seem like a cliche, but if you find yourself in a compromising or stressful situation, step away for a moment and focus on your breathing. Take the time to calm down and reset. Giving yourself an opportunity to become even more stressed will worsen the situation even greater. If you are calm entering these types of circumstances, you will likely come out less affected by their stressors. For guided help with your breathing, visit these websites.


Take care of yourself

You wouldn’t keep walking on a sprained ankle, would you? Of course not, because that would make it worse. Well, stress is the same way. Continuing to work yourself when you’re run down does far more harm than good. Much like the sprained ankle, it only makes the stress worse. Take some of the time you would spend slaving away over an essay outline and put it towards a hot bath or a tasty snack. Never be afraid to reward yourself after a hard day’s work, because you deserve it. Even if it may not seem like it, it is quite the feat to even get to school every day – be proud of yourself, not hard on yourself.


Accept what you cannot change

For a stressed out student, he worst things to worry about are things that happened in the past, such as a failed test or a missed assignment. It is understandably hard for most to simply let go of a bad grade, but it needs to be done – for your sanity. I’m not saying to disregard your marks, just accept them. Yes, a bad grade is scary, but don’t let it take away from you working hard for a good one. Dwelling on the past just distracts you from the present.