How to Handle School Stress and Anxiety

Some people love school—when else is learning all day, every day going to be your whole job? For others, school can be a real challenge: some students face relentless bullying, some feel the high-stakes pressure, and nearly 20 percent of students are juggling it all with a job, too.

The TL;DR on School Stress and Anxiety

If you find school challenging, just the thought of getting on the bus every morning could result in crippling stress and anxiety. One study found that teens experience stress during the school year that outpaces the stress adults feel day-to-day. All of this stress interferes with your ability to do your job: learning and growing.

According to Mental Health America, one of the biggest differences in one’s mental wellbeing is the love and acceptance of friends. Consider us part of your crew. We’ve got you.

Interested in bringing 741741 to students at your school? Check out this toolkit to get the word out.

Read on for some helpful tips and tricks to power through the school day.

How to deal with bullying

If you’re dealing with a school bully, you might be scared to go to school every day. The idea of encountering the bully might drum up fear and anxiety about your mental wellbeing, self-esteem, and even physical safety.

School bullying has been happening for as long as people have been going to school.

Before the world knew Dan was Gossip Girl, or Regina was the queen bee of the plastics, or the Heathers became The Heathers, bullying was a plot point in people’s real, everyday life. If you are in school today, this probably comes as no surprise. Because it happens every single day to far too many people. And, while school bullies used to be relegated to the school halls, they can now be practically inescapable with social media at your fingertips. If you are being bullied, we are so sorry you are dealing with this pain. And, we’re here to help.

Here is the run-down to get you through the school day… and night:

  • Ask for help. If you are being bullied, it is understandable to need someone to confide in. We are here for you. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor.
  • Tell a teacher. You should not have to walk the halls of your school afraid. After all, it is your school. Telling a teacher might feel scary. It might also help you be physically and emotionally safe. If you can, tell someone at your school who can help set up a safety plan for you and address the situation with the bully. Telling your parents is also a great idea, too. They can help make sure you are safe and help you create some strategies to deal with the emotional toll bullying can take on your mental wellbeing.
  • Log off. If social media is how you stay up to date with your social circle, you shouldn’t have to cut it out entirely. So, instead of a social media crash diet, set some clear parameters: limit your time online, unfollow the accounts that don’t bring positivity into your life, and report anything that feels inappropriate.
  • Let yourself shine. If you are being bullied, it can do a number to your self-esteem. Always remember that you are absolutely perfect exactly as you are. Need a reminder? This video might help you feel like you can do anything. And, as Lizzo says: “If I’m shining, everybody’s gonna shine.” You never know who you might inspire just by being yourself.
  • Find your people. When you are dealing with the pressures of school, sometimes it can feel impossible to fit in. If it is any consolation, ask an adult, even the Prom Queens felt like that at some point. Still, you never have to go through life alone. Try joining a new club or pick up an activity outside of school. A new social circle may just do the trick.

Crisis Text Line can help you deal with school. Reach a Crisis Counselor by texting HOME to 741741.

How to deal with academic stress.

Learning should be fun. But, if you are staring down a week of exams, or if you just do not learn the way the school system wants you to (newsflash: everyone’s brain is different!), or if you feel like the rest of your life is riding on your GPA, learning can feel like anything but fun. Between AP exams, college applications, and standardized testing, high school students today are under intense stress to perform academically. All of that pressure to do well on a test can create an anxiety and stress cocktail that can make school a total nightmare. If you’re worried about your grades, chances are you also really like to learn. Read on for some tools to ditch the worry and refocus your energy on what you love: gaining all that knowledge.

Here are some things you can try to turn up that brainpower:

  • Vent. If you are worried about an upcoming test or project, it can be really helpful to talk through what is challenging you. If you need someone to unload with, try texting our Crisis Counselors. They are available 24/7 to help you get to cool and calm in a flash.
  • Put pen to paper. If you are overwhelmed with the idea of writing even one more paper, ditch the assignments and set aside some time to write about what is on your mind. One study found that spending ten minutes writing about your worries about an exam before you take the test could actually increase your performance on the exam.
  • Make a plan. Creating a plan for when, why, and how you are going to tackle your academic work could help you stay on track. Figuring out when you study best, where you are most productive, and how your brain retains information could help you study smarter, not harder. If you are looking for some study planning inspiration, check out “Study-Tubers” (yep, that is Youtubers who make videos about studying) like UnJaded Jade, Ruby Granger, and The Thrive Studies.
  • Prioritize. Between managing school expectations, extracurricular activities, family commitments, and a part-time job, you might feel pulled in too many directions. Figure out your priorities are (hint: they don’t always need to be school) and make a plan. Identifying what absolutely needs to happen and what can take a back seat will help you crush that to-do list.
  • Keep it in perspective. When school is your whole life, it’s so easy to feel like school will determine your whole life. That’s not the reality. There are so many paths to becoming happy, healthy, productive members of this world. You sitting here reading this are already making it happen. You are so important—no matter what your GPA is.
  • Ask for help. It is always okay to ask for help understanding assignments. It’s even more important to ask if you are struggling to keep up in your classes. Everyone’s brain is different. This means that the structure of classes will not always work for everyone. The pros have so many tools to help people learn. Asking for what you need might help you finally achieve your academic dreams.Preventing Sexual Assault

We get it—school can be a pressure cooker of stress and social expectations. We are here to help. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor.

Need to vent?

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Need to vent?

Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a volunteer Crisis Counselor

Free confidential 24/7 support at your fingertips.

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