A Senior’s Guide to Less Stress


Bailey Spencer

Annie Evans fills out her planner. She worked very hard to avoid stress her senior year.

Annie Evans, Managing Editor

As a senior, I have spent many, many hours trying to destress. Some might argue that I have stressed myself out over making sure that my stress levels are not too high. There are many factors that dictate stress levels. Knowing what these are is the first step to reducing your overall load of stress. Personally, I am a list-maker. Identifying all of the things that are stressing me out may at first lead to a little bit of an overwhelming feeling, but knowing what needs to be done always makes getting those tasks done easier.

Believe it or not, sleep affects stress levels. So, before pulling all-nighters because of the stress that you already feel, take a break before the sleep deprivation causes your stress to skyrocket. Additionally, the environment you are in can affect your mood and therefore, your stress. I know that, personally, stress will manifest itself out of the dirty clothes piling up on my floor and out of the clean clothes messily strewn about my bed. Cleaning is a major key to keeping your stress low. When you have a clean room, you feel more in control of your environment and life, and therefore your stress is reduced, regardless of what else is going on.

Keeping a clean room and sleeping are two factors that are controllable. Looking at the uncontrollable can seem like a never ending spiral of darkness and despair. Part of the fact that we cannot control everything can be seen as a de-stresser though. Letting go of the things that cannot be controlled may be the biggest gift you can give yourself. What is the point in worrying over something completely out of your control? There is none. So, learning to let it go is vital to relaxing every once and awhile.

When it comes to the school aspect of stress, teachers are great at encouraging the little monster who gives you anxiety. Numerous assignments in multiple AP classes pile up very quickly. Then, of course, there is the teacher who believes she/he is the only one who assigns homework, so their class assignments can be multiple hour-long worksheets. School is the perfect stresser. You can only control how you handle the stress handed to you, which is what makes it so difficult. Like lists, a planner is the perfect remedy for stress. Controlling when you handle your business and blocking out specific time periods to work provide control to a seemingly uncontrollable obstacle.

I am a very stressed out person. However, these little tips have helped me from combusting when I truly felt like I would. I have enjoyed my high school experience despite my immense stress levels, and I have accepted that “stressed” is just one of the quirks of my personality. Hopefully you can handle your stress, and hopefully, this blog will at least assist a little. This is your managing editor signing off. Thank you for hearing my thoughts over the years!