It’s that time of year again! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been at school or college but I remember the ‘end of the Summer holidays’ feeling well. As someone who really rather enjoyed school, it was a mix between looking forward to what the next year had to offer. seeing my friends and getting back into that strict routine, slight apprehension of going back to new, harder classes and knowing that play-time was over and it was time to get my head down and get back to work. And if you’re approaching the end of school (or going into sixth form or college) chances are, you’ll also have exams coming up (which will come up quicker than you expect – trust me!) so that’s something else to add on to our growing plates of things to handle.
Like I said, I loved school (I’d honestly go back in a heartbeat), I loved the routine, I loved learning things, I loved going on trips, making memories with my friends, after-school clubs, the sense of community. I even loved doing homework. But just because I’m a real-life Hermione Granger, certainly doesn’t mean everyone is and school can be extremely stressful for a lot of people for a multitude of reasons.
From the pressure of fitting in, to arguments within friendship groups (which are pretty common in school), to deadlines and needing certain grades, these are just a handful of things that can cause stress when approaching a new school year. So I wanted to take a trip down memory lane and talk about different ways you can help yourself stay stress free this school year!
Use your planner
Your planner is there for a reason, use it! I used to adore getting a brand new planner at the beginning of every year, it was one of my favourite things about the start of the school year. This is a new opportunity for you to stay organised, so use the days in your planner the most you can because being organised takes away so much stress.
Revision / exams / homework
Obviously the most (or one of the most) important parts of school, keeping on top of revision, exams and homework is pretty crucial to your school life, especially if you’re coming up to important exams. Not leaving homework until the last minute is obviously a pretty obvious way to ensure you’re not stressed and frantically trying to do 5 different things in one evening.
Essays can definitely be difficult for a lot of people and certainly overwhelming when you’re faced with a question and a blank piece of paper. Remember that you can always edit a rough draft but you can’t edit a blank sheet of paper, so I always found just getting something down was a good place to start because you can work around it. But remember the structure of a good essay (introduction, body, conclusion), to add your quotes and sources as well as providing a balanced argument (if applicable) and finally, proofread!
With revision, different things work for different people and it’s important to remember that. I find re-writing things really helpful and also colour coding things as well as making my revision pages visually pleasing to look at. Keeping your revision for different subjects separately in folders can also be helpful and efficient to avoid the stress of losing that piece of revision you’re looking for.
And exams, phew. I thought we’d never get there. Exam time is stressful, there’s no two ways about it. Again, people deal with it in different ways and personally, I always remembered that all I can do is my best and I went into each and every exam with that mindset. But I know it’s not that easy for everyone. Other ways you can try and remain as stress free as possible when it comes to exams is:
- Getting a good night’s sleep
- Eating a good breakfast the morning of the exam
- Getting outside / doing some exercise to give your mind a break
- Get organised the night before
Ask for help / speak up
Keeping everything in when you’re struggling or stressed out at school is never, ever the right way to go. The teachers want you to succeed so if you’re feeling particularly stressed about something or something isn’t quite working for you, speak up and tell them. There may be additional help for you, they may offer you some extra time or even just a chat to get everything off of your chest might help ease the burden.