5 Ways to Minimize Academic Stress

1. Time management

A major part of cutting down on the high stress that comes with school is maximizing the time that you have available. Most students aren’t just students, they are juggling classes, jobs, and social lives among other things. When a student is excelling in classes, they can worry less about school and focus more on the other aspects of their life. Investing in a detailed planner is essential to time management and will help you to stay on track and know what is top priority on assignments. Try using the free planner pro app and look over all of your syllabi for all of your classes and see where your tough assignments, papers, and tests are. Knowing where your busy weeks are will help to prepare you for times when you have multiple exams in the same time frame. Understanding how much free time you have or don't have helps to weed out and prioritize nonessential responsibilities like too many clubs or teams. Being involved in extracurriculars is great, but classes and grades are vital to being the best student you can be.  

2. Understand the course breakdown for your classes

Not all assignments are graded or weighted the same way and your syllabus is the key to figuring out how assignments are valued. Weekly exams could be only 10% of an overall grade and a mid-semester paper could be 50%. Although it is important to try to do well on every assignment, stressing about not doing well on a particular paper or test may be unnecessary. For example, freaking out about getting docked two points on a 10-point assignment that is worth 5% of a total course grade may be pointless. To cut down on stress, look over the grading scale portion as well as the course breakdown in your course syllabi like we discussed under time management.  

3. Join stress-relieving extracurricular activities

Most schools have recreation centers or after-school activities. Even if you have a packed schedule, there may still be an activity that will help you to relax. Searching for a poetry club that helps free the mind or a intramural soccer team that provides a physical release may help in getting your mind off due dates and on to something more peaceful. Often, extracurricular activity info is posted on a school bulletin board or in an office, or you can check with a PE teacher.

4. Take advantage of school-supplied counseling

Understanding how school can take a toll on an individual’s mental health is extremely important when trying to stay stress-free. Being honest with parents and teachers about feeling overwhelmed is key. Schools are required to have a counselor available for students. These counselors aren’t just there to answer questions about scheduling or college applications but are also there to provide resources or therapy information and support. What is said during sessions is confidential. There is also online therapy through sites like talkspace.com that can provide confidential help from licensed therapists that students can vent to. Although there is a cost for this service, it is a great resource if students don’t feel comfortable talking with someone in school or at home.

5. Proactively seek tutoring

What mainly contributes to students feeling stressed about academics is the feeling that they’re failing or falling behind. Seeking tutoring early in the semester is crucial to cutting down on stress. The longer a student waits to seek help, the harder it will be to catch up in class. Talking to teachers or signing up for tutoring at the first sign that a class feels like a struggle will allow time to improve on understanding. Students can access the UPchieve app to talk to a coach 24/7 and get help with all tutoring needs as soon as they arise. By implementing these five tips, students can cut down on school-related stress and start finding their love for school and academics. For more tips on school or tutoring, check out UPchieve’s website!

Niyja Bouie