Oakton Outlook

As most students know, high school can be very stressful, especially in the third quarter when you seem to have endless homework and projects in every class. “I’ve been working on an English project all weekend that is going to be half my grade. I’m almost finished, but as soon as I do I need to get started on my 8 paged SOL review packet for biology…” Said Paolita Cabo Camacho (9). There are many ways to reduce the pressure, here are the three tricks that help me the most.

The first technique is to stay organized and create a good word space. Keeping a clean place to work is vital for better focus . If you spend a lot of time at your desk, is your chair comfortable? Do you have the right lighting? Without a cozy environment, it is extremely hard to effectively get work done. Make sure your space is pleasant, so you can sit for long periods of times to focus. “It seemed pointless at first, but after going through all the stuff on my desk that I didn’t know I had, I seemed to get my homework done a lot faster because everything I really needed I put beside me, and there were no other distractions in the way.” Stated Abby Chen(10). Although this can not save you from every stressful assignment or situation, it will assist in eliminating one particular source of stress.

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Another method is exercise. Based on a survey I took, 58% of students at Oakton High School from a variety of grade levels say they do not have enough time to exercise during the weekdays. This may be true for some, but a majority of students don’t realize that the thirty minutes they spend on their phone after school could be a thirty minute jog. Exercise is scientifically proven to produce endorphins, chemicals in the brain which act as natural painkillers, which reduces stress and anxiety. If you’re a student at Oakton, also make sure to look into after school programs such as track or cross-country, or simply just a club to keep you active.

Last, is listening to music. As simple as it may sound, the soothing power of music has a unique link to our emotions, making it an extremely effective stress reliever. Whether you enjoy the music in your free time or while you’re doing your homework, researches show that that music can lower blood pressure, decrease heart rate, reduce stress, and lessen anxiety and depression. As music can absorb our attention, it acts as a distraction at the same time it helps to explore our emotions. This means it can be a great aid to meditation, helping to prevent the mind wandering.

Whether it’s your parents nagging you about raising your GPA, or teachers criticizing you for any work that’s less than perfect, school can get the best of you if you don’t know how to deal with the stress properly. As the end of the school year is nearing, and for some of us that means college applications, hopefully these tips are helpful when dealing with the academic pressure.

Sara Boddie, Writer

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