Being in senior year can have many stressful factors: 1) your college applications can be overwhelming; deciding where and what to study, as well as having an authentic voice in all the college essays is stressful enough; 2) your Grade Point Average (GPA) in senior year is extremely important, which means that every little assignment, project and research paper given at school counts; and 3) as a senior you are still aiming to have a work-life balance and spend as much time together with your best friends, partners and have fun. So, how do you deal with all that stress?
It helps if you follow some simple advice:
- Keep your eyes on the prize: remember the goals you have set for yourself and don’t lose track of them. Studies show that most teenagers discontinue school or fail because they lose track of the goals they have set for themselves (they get bored, start failing classes or get involved in illegal activities). Keep your eyes on the prize and continue persevering – this persistence will help you be successful;
- Practice self-care: even though it might seem that during senior year you need to make everyone else happy – your parents, friends that you might not see during college, remember to practice self-care and dedicate quality time to yourself, your needs and hobbies. Self-care will take your mind off the consistent studying and will also ensure that you do spend quality time with people that lift you up and replenish your reservoirs with positive energy;
- Finally, remember to take breaks and chunk information when studying. Drink a lot of water – this will improve your blood circulation and make the brain more agile and able to retain information; at the same time, taking toilet breaks often will give your brain the necessary breaks and retain its efficiency; overworking yourself can have detrimental effects – the key in senior year is to focus on quality learning, establishing connections between topics and ensuring that the grand understanding for the topics is there. This is not the time to focus on trivial details that will only burden the brain with unnecessary information. Chunking of information, sorting, organizing it and taking regular breaks will enhance your overall understanding and academic performance. Simplify, don’t complicate.
Thus, keeping your goals in sight, practicing self-care and chunking when studying are necessary steps to surviving senior year and dealing with the stress before graduating high school.
Daniella Schmitt has been a college counselor for 8 years and is currently serving as the School Principal at the European School RheinMain, Germany. She is a highly accomplished educator, brings extensive experience and a passion for guiding students towards achieving their career aspirations.