High school can be an incredible time. It can be one of unforgettable memories, personal growth and unlimited joy. It can also be an unforgiving time – demanding, stressful and suffocating – filled with homework and testing, of obligations and responsibilities. According to the American Psychological Association, “30% of students report feeling sad or depressed … and 31 percent felt overwhelmed [from] schoolwork, social life, sports or other activities.” Moreover, according to a survey conducted by the same association, teens reported a higher overall stress level than did adults. Simply put, high school is a difficult time for everyone: regardless of grades or extracurriculars, sports or awards, high school is a stressful time. Everyone can use a hand at some point, so here are a few ways to keep yourself afloat if you’re feeling a little defeated.
- It’s just a number.
Your grade on that calculus test does not define who you are. That girl in your class who got a 100 is not better than you, and that boy who got a 50 is not worse than you. People are people, not numbers, and it’s imperative that you understand that. If you didn’t do too hot, study some more next time. Maybe ask that girl for some help or maybe offer that boy some tips. If you’re having trouble in class, ask your teacher for some help! They’re here to help you, and their goal is for you to do as well as possible.
- You are not alone.
Fortunately, you attend a high-end school in a high-end county in a high-end area. Naturally, your school is well-equipped to help you with all your needs. If you’re having issues of any kind, whether they be bullying or depression or just an overload of stress, your school has counselors to help. These are people whose job is to help you, people who are not there to judge you and people who are willing to listen. If you have a problem, it is yours to solve, so seek out whatever help you can get.
- There’s always tomorrow.
If you’ve had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, then chances are you’re feeling pretty down. If you’ve had many such days, you might be in a tough spot in your life. Just remember: there’s always tomorrow. If things didn’t go right today, it’s okay to be upset. It’s okay to complain, and it’s okay to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. However, that’s today. Tomorrow is a new day, and with it is a host of new experiences and joyful moments; tomorrow is your day – so make it count.
High school can be tough but it doesn’t have to be: embrace challenges and experience the unknown. Ultimately, high school will be some of your fondest memories and the place where you grow the most as a person. Say good morning to your teachers and ask them how their weekends were. Tell your friends you appreciate them and let your parents know how much you love them. You are important and deserve the best; never forget that.