Coping Strategies for Junior Year of High School
It is often said that junior year is the hardest year of high school. As someone who has lived through it, junior year was difficult, but it was not completely unbearable and can be rewarding if you devote yourself to a certain schedule and work ethic. In order to avoid such stress and anxiety, here are some of my personal tips – plus advice from other students - on how to manage an abundance of work and extracurriculars.
First, a positive mentality is one of the best ways to cope with your homework and persevere through it. Emery/Weiner School student and senior Maya Zehavi always kept a persistent outlook when completing work. “If I was struggling, I would just remind myself of how far I’ve gotten and how little I have to do. I think about the reward that will come at the end of high school, so keeping that mentality is what kept me persistent,” Maya explained.
Additionally, both Maya and I took on rigorous classes and had demanding after-school activities, so we learned the concept of time management. After speaking to her, I was able to recall that I allocated my time in such a way that I would never have too many assignments piled on in a single day. In order to spread out the workload, I completed work early so that I didn’t have to do an abundance of schoolwork on a day where there were more assignments than usual. Specifically, I would check my schedule for the upcoming week on Sunday and calculate which day had the most assignments so I could spread them out evenly. This way, I didn’t run into days overloaded with work, and I was able to divvy up my work by checking my calendar weekly.
Pent-up stress can also cloud your mind and distract you from completing assignments. Former Bellaire High School student and current Georgia Bulldog Zac Fleishman explained, “The work really piled up at Bellaire, so I used meditation apps such as Headspace, Calm, and Insight Timer for a few minutes each day to clear my head and help me focus on the work ahead of me.” I find that a lot of juniors use meditation apps to relax them, and it worked really well for them as they were able to focus better without anxiety disrupting their concentration.
I also noticed myself, as well as my friends, spending time on my phone and procrastinating doing my homework, which is another major distraction that derails you from your concentration. “Even if you think you’ll be able to get things done at the last minute, don’t push stuff off because it builds up and you’ll end up having to make sacrifices in order to finish your work,” Emery/Weiner senior Alegra Germain said.
In order to avoid sacrificing your weekend plans, I advise that you completely power off your phone when doing homework. This way, you will not be tempted to check any social media platforms nor will your messages be distracting you and constantly notifying you. According to a UC Irvine study, it will take the average person 23 minutes and 15 seconds to refocus on the task at hand after using a phone or mobile device.
My last piece of advice centers on the resources available to you during junior year. Despite what you may think, teachers really want their students to succeed. Therefore, the best way to maximize your learning experience is to communicate with your teachers and ask for help when struggling with a concept or assignment. When doing this, you are building a relationship with your teacher while also getting valuable one-on-one time. The teacher will also appreciate your efforts and note that you are trying to succeed and understand a concept, not just merely pass by through memorizing and skimming information.
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