High school students across the nation are continuing to feel the stress and pressure of challenging courses, extracurriculars and impressing college admissions. According to USA Today, “more than a quarter (27%) say they experience “extreme stress” during the school year, vs. 13% in the summer – and 34% expect stress to increase in the coming year.” While stress is often out of our control, there are steps your student can take to make that stress a little more manageable. These four tips have been tested and proven to help alleviate pressure and keep your child healthy and happy all year long.
4 Tips to Alleviate the Stress on High School Students
1. Assess Your Child’s Workload
Many of today’s high school students are overwhelmed due to their unruly schedules – while your child may want to impress college admissions, it’s unhealthy to pile honors courses, extracurriculars, a part-time job and an internship on top of their already demanding academic schedule. Take the time to sit down with your student and go over their schedule together. It’s important to make sure your child is allocating enough time to spend with family, friends and get plenty of sleep each evening.
If your child is concerned about missing out on AP-level courses during the school year, encourage them to look at pre-college courses during the summer – another great way to earn college credit and impress college admissions while still in high school, without the added stress during the academic year.
2. Help Your Child Stay Organized
With piles of handouts collected throughout the year and a cluttered room, your child could use a little relief. One of the best ways to eliminate unnecessary stress is to help your student get and stay organized. Whether your student prefers to study at the kitchen table or in the family office, make sure the area is free of clutter and distractions.
3. Ask for Help
Is your child struggling in one or two of their classes? This could be one of the number one causes of their high school related stress. Fortunately, many (if not all) school’s offer homework clubs, tutoring, and after-school support to help keep your student on track. If your child isn’t open about schoolwork struggles, speak with their school counselor to check in on their academic performance; in doing so, you can work with your student to find a solution that works best with their learning style, ability and schedule.
4. Find a Healthy Balance
Having fun and enjoying school is just as important as being a successful student. To keep your child happy, healthy and stress free, encourage them to also participate in activities that are purely for fun. This is an opportunity to take some time outside of the busy school year to connect and spend time as a family as well. Whether you enjoy skiing, biking or playing games as a family, these activities are important for building character and healthy habits that your child will value for years to come.
We all know that stress is inevitable, but with these tips in mind, both you and your child can start practicing healthy habits to make the stress more manageable throughout the year and for your child’s future.