• Making you AWARE of stress related to academic pressures....

    Students suffer from stress related to academics at all ages, but middle school and high school students are particularly vulnerable to feeling the pressure from their course load. Keep in mind that your course load can change each semester and from year to year. You have plenty of support at school to help you through the stress...your school counselors are available to help.

    Do these questions sound like those you and your family are facing?

    1. Are you stressed because you don't have time to do homework and study for tests?

    2. What is occupying your time that is keeping you from having enough time to complete assignments?

    3. Are you stressed because you don't understand the material your teacher covered?

    4. Do you feel pressured to make straight A's to please your parents or impress your friends?

    5. Do you feel stressed about getting accepted to a specific college?

    Tips for coping with this stress....

    1. Get organized about your homework and test preparation. Ask your parents or your school counselor to work with you to develop a study plan. Once you start a study plan, turn off the TV and other electronic devices during study time...you can do without them for a little while! After an hour, take a short ten minute break, then get back on the assignment after you are refreshed.

    2. Look at your daily schedule to see where you are spending your time. Keep track of it for a few days and you will be surprised at the amount of time that could be redirected to study time. Remember to protect your sleep time each night. Pulling an "all-night " study session, or studying past your normal sleep time may not be productive. Studies have shown a close link between adequate sleep and academic performance.

    3. If you don't understand the assigned material, ask for help. All of us need help at some point. Ask your teacher privately for a brief explanation after class. Don't be afraid to raise your hand during class to get more information. Odds are pretty good that some of your classmates are having the same troubles with the material. They will appreciate someone stepping up to ask.

    4. If you are stressed about your parents or grandparents pushing too hard about grades and school work, talk with them about the way this makes you feel. Keep a good attitude about this discussion. Parents want their children to succeed, but when this support becomes destructive and negative, it is time to talk.

    5. If you are worried about the question of getting into your preferred college, just remember that you have friends going through the same issue. Lean on them for support and definitely lean on your school counselor for support. Keep in mind that colleges don't simply use grades as the determining factor in college admission. They want well-rounded students who can perform academically, show leadership potential, serve their communities, and demonstrate a balance in their lives. Strive for those A's, but don't get stressed about that B in a difficult class.