What Do I Do If School Stresses Me Out?

Question: School is 'stressing me out' and I feel like a bad grade will ruin my future. How can I deal better with this stress? (For a high school or young college student.)

Answer: You know, school stress is a big deal, especially in the higher levels of school - high school and college. And a lot of folks find themselves feeling stressed out. I think it's really important to look at what school is for you right now.

Is it just the idea of a bad grade or are there other things at school that might be affecting you? Looking at your schedule, looking at your classes, your case load, your class load and what you're doing as far as activities as well will help you determine what might be stressing you out. Maybe your schedule is too full right now. Or maybe you're expecting a little bit too much of yourself and having those high expectations can be really stressful.

The other thing that happens with school is that we sometimes get stressed and we miss the big picture. We get very focused on one thing like a bad grade or a test or an exam score. Try to step back and get a bigger perspective on school right now. And that way you'll be better able to adjust and make some changes. For example, some coping skills like lightening your schedule or adding an exercise and things that might help balance the school stress.

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