Don't Lose Sight of Your College Prep Goals This Fall
If you find yourself counting down the days until winter break, you are not alone. Between keeping your grades up, studying for standardized tests, and participating in your choice of extracurricular activities, many high school students have a lot of responsibilities on their plate. Neglecting to manage the stress that can come with a busy academic and social schedule can cause students to burnout at the most critical point of their high school journey.
While it is totally normal (and healthy) to crave a little R&R, constant stress and fatigue are signs that it is time to take a step back and re-evaluate your to-do list. Students who over-work themselves and push their boundaries over the edge are at risk for burnout. This term is used to describe complete exhaustion and lack of motivation that stems from prolonged stress and excessive demands. Keep reading for some tips that will help you recharge, balance your workload, and stop burnout before it ever sets in.
Pinpoint What Matters Most
High school doesn’t have to feel like an impossible balancing act. While it may be tempting to join every club each of your friends is in, signing up for everything isn’t the smartest move. Not only will such a jam-packed schedule contribute to high stress levels, it’s also not the best strategy for college applications. Commit to a handful activities that genuinely interest you and strive to deepen your understanding of each. This quality over quantity approach will help keep your schedule in check and allow you to really give your all to every obligation you sign up for.
Carve Out Some “Me” Time
With the demands of academics, extracurricular activities, and social commitments, time for yourself may fall by the wayside. However, even a couple of hours of relaxation and self care can help you recharge and work more efficiently throughout the school day. Strive to pencil in one activity each week that makes you feel good and helps keep you calm. Not sure how to unwind? Journaling, trying a yoga class, or catching up on fun reading are some great options to relax and recharge.
Learn How to Say “No”
Unfortunately, no one can attend every event they are invited to, especially when academics and obligations are thrown into the mix. Between family gatherings and hanging out with friends, the holiday season can feel extra overwhelming for students, especially when final exams and application deadlines are also on your radar. Before RSVP-ing “yes” to every invitation, look over your agenda and determine what events can realistically work with your school and extracurricular schedule. No one expects you to make it to every single outing, so don’t put that pressure on yourself.
Ask for Help When You Need It
If you’re dreading every single school day or falling seriously behind on your homework and projects, it may be time to reach out for some guidance. Depending on your situation and the source of your stress, speaking with a parent or older sibling about how to optimize your schedule and address your feelings may be a good starting point. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by your to-do list, it might be best to meet with a guidance counselor or teacher to address what’s causing your stress levels to skyrocket and potential steps you can take to prevent burnout. Understand that high school can be a challenging time for every student and don’t be afraid to seek out guidance to help make the most of it.
By creating a realistic schedule filled with activities you are passionate about and penciling in time to unwind, most students will be able to keep burnout at bay and stay motivated throughout high school.
At IvyWise we work with students to help them better manage their application process and alleviate the stress commonly associated with the college admissions process. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or need some help managing your college prep, contact us today for more information on our college counseling services.
Download our free College Planning Checklist for a year-by-year guide on what you can be doing in order to relieve college prep stress!