Keep your spirits high and your stress levels low


August: The last month of summer vacation begins. It’s important to cram in those last few beach days, weekends up north, and nights sitting around a bonfire with friends. The realization that school starts in less than 30 days sets in, and it’s finally time to start your summer homework. Once August hits, people between the ages of 13 and 18 morph into a new form of human; people turn from teenagers to students. Students begin to look for a hiding place due to their longing for summer to last forever. You begin to look for some way to avoid the air becoming cooler and the days becoming shorter. You begin to look for ways to escape the approaching waves of exhaustion and sleep deprivation that are stalking them from behind. You want to run away; run away from homework and tests and college applications. Flee from the responsibilities that are gaining on you way too quickly. But it’s important to stay calm. Relax.

Don’t run away, don’t hide from what you need to do. Remember that along with school starting, the conversations with friends all day, chilly Friday nights spent cheering for the football team, and barely making it to first hour on time because you just had to stop for coffee on the way to school starts as well. Stay positive about being in high school, because no matter how much you complain about it while you’re here, when those last few months, weeks, and days are approaching, the nostalgia will hit you. You’ll remember how even though your teachers told you to be quiet during class, you still got to hang out with your best friends every day during lunch. You’ll remember how even though you were freezing all throughout the football game in October, it was all worth it when your team won the game. You’ll remember how even though your first-hour teacher hated you for being late every day, that coffee tasted so good. And it was all worth it.

So please, forget about the three tests you have tomorrow and the essay due the next, because high school goes by way too quickly to only think about the things you hate. I, myself, am guilty of complaining about how much I have going on. I sometimes fail to stop and think about my plans for the weekend that I’m looking forward to, but I can’t stop thinking about the math test I’m sure I’m going to fail. So I stress.

So this year, try to remind yourself from day one, that it is important to keep your eyes and brain on the things you love about high school, rather than everything you are expertly trying to escape from. Strive to push all of your negative energy and thoughts out of your mind and surround yourself with others that want the same. This year can be different for you, but you need to do what works for you. Don’t overwhelm yourself with five AP classes because you think colleges will want to see it. If you can’t handle it, you can’t handle it; it doesn’t make you any less smart. Don’t try to be a three-season athlete and have a job at the same time unless you’re sure that you can take on that many things. Take care of yourself this year, you won’t regret it.