Advice for Stressed High Schoolers: What I Wish I Knew

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    Being a high-schooler is fraught with anxieties big and small. Reducing stress is easier said than done. This article will address achievement-related sources of such stress and provide some strategies to combat them.  

    Schoolwork and Grades

    • Procrastination can lead to sleep loss, which exacerbates the original problem. However, it’s notoriously tough to combat.  
    • Budgeting your time can be an effective way to stop procrastinating and fix your sleep schedule. 
    • Stress about schoolwork, tests, and grades can easily snowball.
    • Getting a bad score on a test is crushing. It’s important to put things in perspective, though. In a month, this score may not matter. In fifteen years, when you’re a successful adult, this score will be insignificant and forgotten. In other words, a couple of lower-than-average grades won’t tank your future.  
    • Furthermore, you’re not alone! Thousands of students nationwide are experiencing the same worry. 
    • A hard-to-internalize truth: grades aren’t an indication of your value! Your strengths may lie outside of academics, but always push yourself for success. 

    College and Future

    • You might be feeling pressure from your peers or community to get into a top-20 university. If this causes you lots of stress, remember that your college experience is ultimately yours. Try to not let people’s judgments or culture cloud your good sense. 
    • Success doesn’t hinge upon your university. For example, Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, attended the University of Maryland—a non-T20 school. Conversely, some Harvard students will end up conventionally unsuccessful or unhappy.  
    • No matter where you find yourself, you will find communities. These communities will dictate your future success and happiness—not the pedigree of your school.  
    • Choose a college that’s right for you, holistically. Here is a Reddit post that may help you narrow down your list.  

    Angela Qian


    Senior at Dulaney High school. Editor-in-Chief of Sequel literary arts magazine and Baltimore County student council president.


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