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Dealing with Stress in High School

— By 22 July 2015

High School can be such a stressful time – every year we are pushed by our teachers to do more work and to study in order to prepare us for those scary acronyms: VCE (in Victoria) and ATARs. The scarier thing is that at school you are given the same amount of work as your classmates, even though every person in that class have totally different abilities, social lives, personal lives and family lives. 

Some of us have a lot going on, and it can get a bit much at times. That’s why we have some tips for you to help deal with your stress during busy times in your school life. 


• As the day goes on, list out all of the things you have to do on a piece of paper or your diary. 
• Add any homework, chores, extracurricular activities or personal things that you need to do for the day. 
• Make note of the things that are more important (i.e. things due the next day!) so that you will do them first. 
• On really busy days, set time limits for the tasks other than those on your priority list. 

The BEST part of all of this, is the incredible satisfaction you get when you cross something off your list! 

If you do this, you should feel more organised, prepared and in control of the work that needs to be done! It’ll push you to get things done too, which is always great for some extra motivation. 


They say that talking to someone about a problem will reduce the problem by 50%. Talking to someone close with you about how much stuff you need to do can surprisingly help as it clears your thoughts and verbally lists the things you need to do. If you’re lucky, they might have something to say that will be quite useful. But if they don’t, no biggy, you just solved your problem by 50%!

(Handy little sidenote: this only works for talking about problems, talking to someone about the price of a product does not reduce the price by 50%.)


When things are getting busy and you feel stressed, people might think that staying up to gross hours early in the morning is the best option. Wrong. Sleep is so vital and it’s amazing, why would you give it up?! Getting enough sleep helps the immune system so you’re less likely to be sick and miss out on more study which means less stress! Plus it makes you more alert during the day, so you’re not so stressed just from going to school.

FUN FACT: After a certain point in the night, when your body begins to get tired and is ready for some shut eye, the time you spend studying becomes completely redundant. 

Say you feel tired at 10pm, but you need to finish Maths exercise 10.32.A.1.3 and even though it only has three questions, it has sub-questions a) to z). You stay up till 1:30am to get them all done. The good news is that you have something written down on paper, but I’m not sure how good that actually is considering you just gave up 3.5 hours of sleep to retain very little in your memory. Sometimes, being honest with your teacher and saying you tried really hard to get the work done, but you just ran out of time is the better option when you can get more sleep. 


Sometimes, stress can get so bad it makes us feel incredibly anxious and starts to disrupt our everyday lives. And that’s okay! All it means is that we need a bit of guidance to get back to our usual self. Whether it's from teachers, school counselors or professional psychologists, there are people trained to be able to support us and guide us to deal with our stress. If you ever feel that you may need the extra support, GO GET IT. It is 100% better than trying to deal with it all yourself.


We’re not saying these tips solve all your problems- let’s be real, the work doesn’t just go away. As nice as it’d be, we’re not going to give tips like “burn all your work and pretend it doesn’t exist” because, well, it does. But hey! If it helps make things a little easier, it could be worth it. Give it a go, maybe?

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