Dear Stressed Students

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Dear Stressed Students

Mary Salzmann, Section Editor

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The word stress comes up a lot, and for a lot of students here, it never seems to stop. Over the past four years, I think it’s safe to say we’ve all experienced a lot of stress. The most important thing I learned (and am still learning) is a person’s mindset about the stressful situations can matter more than the actual events. 

Academically, it’s definitely a matter of picking your battles. I swam for four years, and there were times I’d go to two practices a day after only getting two or three hours of sleep. This led to a plethora of issues physically and mentally, but I thought it was more important for me to get my work done. In cases like these, I think a lot of people feel they don’t have a choice. My response to that is always yes, you do. Email your teachers, talk to them if you have something going on, and in my experience, not one teacher has refused to work with and accommodate me. 

For me socially and at school, it became a matter of evaluating situations. Does this affect me? If so, the most important question comes next. Can I change it? From there, if I can’t change something (like a person’s attitude or behavior, or a family situation), it’s a matter of what I can do to make it easier. If I can change something, it’s a matter of doing so in the most productive way possible. I can’t change the fact a project is due the same day I have two tests. I can give myself a fake deadline of a week or a few days before, or ask my teachers or peers for extra help reviewing test material.

I think the worst thing people can do to themselves in high school is forgetting the bigger picture. Since making minor changes like that consistently, I’ve become a much happier person.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Mary Salzmann at msalzmann@hilite.org.

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