Advice Column: Managing Stress

Sarah Adamo, Editor-in-Chief

Dear MK Reporters,

This year’s coursework—coupled with everything else that I have to tackle—is really stressing me out. Do you have any tips for dealing with stress and getting through these tough times?


AP Tests. College Planning. Parcc, SATs, ACTs. The old, “But wait– there’s more!”

This is the part of being a teenager that no one envies! With all of the responsibilities that our students juggle, it is easy to buckle under the weight of these time-consuming ordeals. That is why I wish to provide an in-depth answer for your popular question; how do we get through such challenges in our lives, sometimes all at once? Here’s my guide for how to manage with flying colors…

  1. Exercise! It has been affirmed by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America that stress can be reduced through physical activity. You likely already know this from your own experiences as well, so what are you waiting for? Use short but effective workouts to sharpen your brain and release some of that pent-up nervous energy before you take on an important event or endeavor.
  2. Eliminate distractions. It is usually preferable when one studies or works in at least moderate quiet, as the drone of a weatherman on the news or the notifications sounding on your phone are enough to divert your attentions. Find a peaceful place in nature or somewhere indoors like a library where you can really focus. Once that is done, you will be able to complete your assignments with more efficiency.
  3. Try meditating. As a martial artist, I suggest this because the benefits are actually great and this option for handling stress is both quick and calming. The purpose of mediation is not to doze off, but to merely clear your mind of the worries that may be holding you back from performing your best on exams and in other situations. It helps you gain a sense of control ideally, allowing you to deal with whatever comes your way.
  4. Step away from the work for a while. All of us get to the point where we are so sick of looking at the same paper that continuing to stare at it will not yield the results we want. This is when you need to take a break and recharge your mind. Call up your friends and remind yourself that life is not mere work, but a balance! Treat yourself to a bath, take a nap, or play a sport. Do whatever you enjoy so that when you return to your desk, you can hone in on the task at hand.
  5. Think of your tasks in steps. Consider these options; climbing a ridiculously tall mountain in a day’s hike versus camping at intervals, maintaining your energy and your sanity. The first option should seem very unrealistic. Though all of us are able-minded, tasks can seem and become much more overwhelming and impossible to us if they are not broken down into comprehensible steps. Do you have a large project? Set due dates for yourself as to when certain sections must be completed or ask your teacher to give you an estimate on how long each portion should take and when he or she suggests to have each finished. This will provide some much-needed structure to your work.
  6. Remember your resources. College planning and other significant undertakings can be better addressed if one considers the resources at his or her disposal. At Morris Knolls, there are school counselors and tutors that can help you with a wide variety of tasks. In addition to those resources, the best outlet for feeling overwhelmed could be a close friend. Many students can identify with your struggles and may be able to suggest healthy ways to cope with your stress.

Hope this helps!

Best of luck,

The Quill Editor-in-Chief Sarah Adamo