Titan Tattler: Three ways to reduce high school stress

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 16, 2019

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my four years at West, it’s that school can be pretty stressful at times. When I was a freshman, I stepped onto campus and immediately looked for every way that I could beef up my college resumé. I wanted to join every club, take the highest level classes possible and secure every leadership position that I could get my hands on. As I carried that mentality on throughout my high school career, I learned — the hard way — that I couldn’t simultaneously balance my ambitions and enjoy my life. When you’re taking three, four or even five Advanced Placement classes, it’s almost impossible to play a sport, be active in a club and have a social life without causing some amounts of undue stress. So, as the 2018-2019 school year nears its end, and I, too, near the end of my time as the Titan Tattler, I’d like to give a few tips and tricks that hopefully make high school just a little bit easier for everyone.

First, every student should make sure they have one breather course. When taking a high number of advanced or honors classes, the workload can be overwhelming at times. That’s why taking a fun elective with an interesting course topic but lighter workload can make all the difference in a class schedule. Classes such as Shakespeare and Bible history can be a nice, refreshing break in the day where a student can sit back and learn without the more intense pressure of a CORE or higher level class.

Second, every student should join at least one club they are genuinely interested in, regardless of whether or not they think it will look good on a college application. In reality, pursuing your passions is more appealing to colleges than membership in a bunch of clubs that you think they want to see. One meaningful experience can make all the difference in a college essay, and these often come about through a student’s genuine pursuit of happiness.

Lastly, every student should ensure they have at least one day a week where they do absolutely no school work. It may take some extra work on other days to compensate, but taking a night off can provide the relaxation and respite a student needs to keep going. Simply by practicing good time management skills, the amount of stress one endures can be lessened drastically.