Dealing with Anxiety during Back to School

Here are a few tips to keep you sane during such uneasy times

 You don’t need to excel at everything you do and every class you take. Move at your own pace, manage the most that you can at a time, don't let perfectionism control your work, and take one day at a time.

Jenna Preston

You don’t need to excel at everything you do and every class you take. Move at your own pace, manage the most that you can at a time, don’t let perfectionism control your work, and take one day at a time.

With back to school, it’s sometimes difficult to study or complete assignments with things on your mind beyond math homework and English essays. Here is a guide to care for yourself and support your academics. This is purely written from personal experience and some might not be a working substitute, however, hopefully some can help you despite the anxiety and challenges that come with life and pressure from high school. 

Partial is better than none. Sometimes, an assignment you have to turn in can be objectively easy for you to compete, other times it takes way longer to start and finish because you might be afraid the end product won’t meet the expectations of your teachers, or you don’t have motivation to get it started because you feel lost in the subject, or you are panicking because you started it too late and it’s due tomorrow.

It’s very hard to remove those expectations, but it can become a little easier to complete assignments when you remember that getting some credit or points is, no matter how many you get, is way better than getting a deduction for late work or not turning it in at all. It shows that you at least tried and you put an effort into the work even if you don’t believe it is the greatest. Many people, including myself actually, suffer writing essays because of my perfectionism.

It sometimes controls your work and mind and makes it difficult to complete tasks. Overall, it is more important to attempt completion to the best of your ability rather than letting the assignment take over your entire agenda. From there, you can learn from the feedback, try harder next time rather than continuing to struggle over it, and move on. And most times, you’re actually doing way better than you think, you might even surprise yourself in the grade you receive. The most important thing is to just start somewhere. 

Keeping track of your deadlines gives you a clearer mind. Most anxiety usually comes from the fact that you know you have something due but can’t keep track of the other things from different classes at the same time or you don’t want to actually confront the task at hand and finish it. It’s better to start in advance because you give yourself more time to work on it at a speed that suits you and you won’t feel rushed to finish it.

When you rush, sometimes you make mistakes that you never would in an instance where you’re given more time. As soon as you’re assigned something with a specific due date or an upcoming test, make sure to write it down somewhere you will read it everyday. Maybe this means you need a new planner or calendar in front of your work space. I am using a planner for the first time this year and already feel way more calm and collected. 

You should never be afraid to ask for help. I feel as if in the current situation with remote schooling, many teachers are much kinder and considerate about academic situations at home. If you really can’t meet a deadline or come to class, there’s no harm in explaining your situation to the teacher and just let them know. Most teachers are extremely nice, reasonable people who genuinely care about your wellbeing.

If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to your teacher about something, try reaching out to a friend in your class who could help share notes or fill you in on the lessons. Some people may not be aware of how you’re feeling and feel happy to help you in any way. It’s not seen as a burden, sometimes we just need some help getting back on our feet. 

The most important thing is to stay kind and considerate to yourself. Some days are harder than others, and it’s okay to feel a little lost sometimes because you’re going to find your way. High school is a minor part of our lives. Somewhere we attend for a few hours a day, it shouldn’t turn into something that controls your entire life and wellbeing.

You don’t need to excel at everything you do and every class you take. Move at your own pace, manage the most that you can at a time, don’t let perfectionism control your work, and take one day at a time.