Managing School Stress

Stress felt by students, especially at the end of the year with SOL testing and exams coming up as well as graduation, can be overwhelming.

Students who feel overwhelmed or stressed out may not do as well as they want on the big tests that come at the end of the year, and they may start to slip up academically as the year comes to an end. The focus is now on summer rather than doing more school work; however, the piles of projects and worksheets that come with review for SOLs and exams can be very stressful.

According to chalkbeat.org, “The final stretch of the school year is stressful for families, not just the students, and tensions rise easily and can result in more stress and family discord.”

Chalkbeat also provided good tips to help students calm down and manage stress so that everything does not seem to be all at once as we often think it is…

Keep things in perspective.

“Take the time to evaluate the emotional reaction to the stressor on a simple scale of 1 – 10, then rate the stressor itself on the same simple scale, and typically it is found that we react at a 7 or 8 to a situation that is only a 2 or 3. This will help avoid putting additional importance and stress on things that do not normally amount to such levels of stress.”

Be aware of your thinking.

“Lots of the stress students feel is due to the naturally pessimistic, negative, and possibly perfectionist thinking that students typically have about most school work. By trying to think more positively, rationally, and logically, students can reduce the stress they subject themselves to.”

Use your imagination.

“If one can relax one’s mind, the body will follow. Instead of focusing on the stressful present, imagine sitting somewhere peaceful and relaxing, close your eyes and breathe deeply for five to ten minutes and see if you are more relaxed than before.”

Make time for fun.

“Take a break from all the stressful schoolwork and planning and spend time with family and friends, even if only for 30 minutes. While spending too much time having fun is not going to help with managing stress, not spending any time for a break can be just as bad.”

There are plenty of other ways to manage stress, but these are some of the more basic ways of getting end-of-the-year stress under control for students who think nothing can be done to help them.

“Teachers are crunching down on the students for their grades and preparing for SOLs and exams; it’s overwhelming,” said Sophie Parrish, freshman.

“Teachers are stressed because of trying to prepare the students for SOLs,” said Mallorie Burton. “I am already worrying about college loans.”

“I am so ready to graduate,” said LaKya Walton. “Exams are my biggest stressors.”

“I’m stressed out because I’m having to wait so long to hear from guidance about my SOL scores!” said Ben Woodward.