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Senior Elizabeth Chase offers input on dealing with high school stress

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I am a victim of the “High School Stress Monster.” As a senior in high school, I continuously balance a range of activities, each of which holds their own significance to me.  While maintaining a 3.9 grade point average and a job at the Whidbey Island Local Commissary, I have participated in advanced choirs, varsity athletics, and held officer positions in different clubs.

Although my stress level exceeds the normal expectations, I know the effort I put forth now will only benefit my future. Completing school work and studying for exams during sports seasons are tough. Instant thoughts that flood any student-athlete’s mind would be “late home returns,” or “loud, bumpy, bus rides.”

Unfortunately during sport seasons, unless sleep is eliminated, school work is not completed to its full potential. Of course no one wants to eliminate sleep,  however, here are ways to get work done and still get a good nights rest:

  • Save reading for the bus rides.
  • Do all immediate homework assignments during off games.
  • If one is a junior varsity player, try finishing up work during the varsity match. Likewise, a varsity player should be able to get his or her work done while junior varsity finishes up their matches. Studying hard and getting school work done is important, after all, the title “student-athlete” always starts with “student.”

As high school proceeds, volunteer work is mandated. Students are constantly nagged about joining clubs and performing service. If a student is an athlete or has a job, the normal attitude towards volunteer work tends to be negative. One “doesn’t have time,” or “can get it done later.”  Over the years I have realized that everyone has the potential to have time if one chooses to make that time.

Sports and clubs have consumed the majority of my high school years, apart from school and work itself. Training and conditioning through volleyball and track were very rewarding and taught me a great deal on dedication. I found time to interact and serve the community through several clubs: Key Club, Teens Against Tobacco Use, National Honor Society, Students Against Destructive Decisions and Health Careers Club.

People constantly ask me, “how do you do it?” The only answer I can give is that I know how to prioritize and I know that in the end, the actions I make now will be rewarded. Now, does that mean having a boyfriend, or having an “all day video game marathon,” or taking a “girls day out” is a bad thing? No. High school is tough; if you are working hard, make sure to reward yourself.  As you gain experience, dealing with stress will eventually get easier.

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