It’s the middle of my junior year and I’m freaking out! I know it’s weird but even though it’s not close enough yet to worry, I keep feeling stressed about college, and tests, and everything. Is there any way you know to beat the stress?
Stressed and a Mess
Dear Stressed and a Mess,
Stress is a common reaction to large, life defining events, not to worry you even more. But let's be honest, we make decisions every single day that define who we are, what we will do with our lives, and where we will go. I think the important thing to do when you are feeling stressed is to not push away what you are feeling. Bottling emotion can lead to feeling much worse later on. Identify why you are feeling so stressed, what exactly about college and the tests are stressing you out. Do you not feel prepared to take the test? Then take that fear and put it to use, sign up for the, “Lets get ready program,” or study SAT or ACT practice questions. If there is something in the future that is making you nervous, then do something about it, actively work towards reducing that stress and doing what you need to prepare for your future. And if it is because you are nervous about college, visit a campus or two, do some research, talk to your guidance counselor. I think the biggest cause of fear is feeling like you are helpless, and unable to do anything about a particular situation. It always makes me feel much better when I write out what I need to do that is making me nervous, or take active steps to making the future easier for me. Whether that’s as simple as studying more than usual, or if it’s as complex as taking time to make a rough plan of your future, you’ll feel much better knowing that you’re not just sitting there waiting for the future to come to you or that you're not lying still and letting stress and anxiety consume you. Fight back, show that you are prepared to face your future, no matter what is to come. If you are still feeling stressed, I suggest talking to a guidance or adjustment counselor about what you are feeling, sometimes all you need is someone else there to guide you through the rough patches, and that's what they are here for. Just take a deep breath and realized that this is only a small part of your life, and there is so much more to life than what we are experiencing now. The beauty about the future, is that no one knows what's in it yet. Whatever may come, your life won’t be defined by a few years in high school, or even in college, you have so much time to do with it what you want. So don’t stress 🙂 Hope this helps! Good Luck!