Turning Stress to Success: How to Overcome Academic Pressure

Turning Stress to Success: How to Overcome Academic Pressure

Academic pressure is one of the leading causes of stress in teenagers. Sometimes it can feel like a weight that's pulling you down and really affecting your life. It often affects our sleep and anxiety, and in some cases can even lead to depression. As April is stress month, and we're at a time when teenagers absolutely need every resource they can get, we feel the need to give you some tips and advice on making sure your academics don't control your life.


One thing I see my peers constantly do is put their academics in front of their self-care. All-nighters or just lack of sleep is not going to help you in any way. Not only does it look bad to your teachers and your peers it makes it harder to understand new topics. Check out the article below on managing your sleep in school.

How to Stop Sleeping in Class
I get it, you’ve had a rough night studying or playing games. Maintaining a sleep schedule and keeping yourself awake in class is hard. You’ll become even sleepier during classes you don’t have an interest in. During these times it’s important to stay awake, as you may miss key information

Another thing to keep in mind is having good meals. In fact, a study published on the National Institute of Health's database links having good meals to better academic performance.  Remember that pairing this with adequate exercise is also necessary. This is where I see myself struggling as I am so busy that I forget to give my body some exercise and keep it healthy. Spending time outside and with friends will improve your life both emotionally and academically. Remember, if you are not happy, then your academics are bound to suffer. If you are experiencing issues and frequently getting upset, go to your counselor.

Study With Someone

Studying in a group is always good because it helps you study topics appropriately and ask questions together. These people should consist of people that are in your classes and have learned your units before. You can also study with anyone who is taking higher-level classes. It may also be a good idea to consult your teacher for a one-on-one to explain something that confuses you. Remember that you should use any resources you are given to do your best academically.

You can also turn to your friends when things are getting stressful, remember that maintaining a balance is also good. After studying, you should try doing other activities and destressing yourself. Stress will not help you study better but instead will make you think less clearly.

Note Down All Questions

If you have a question you should immediately note it down on a seperate sheet of paper. Check the contents of a quiz or test at least a day prior so you have time to sort out all the sections you are confused on and build your skills. Noting down questions is a good way to figure out where you still need to study and make yourself more efficient while studying.

Forget the Past

Don't spend too much time thinking about what you could've done differently. Your grades won't change if you keep thinking about the past. Instead, you should look forward and revise what you did wrong. When you get a bad grade, review it or discuss the assignment with your teacher. The most important thing is that you actually learn and understand what was taught, you never know when you might need it again.

Take Accountability

Hold yourself accountable at all times. When you say you are going to study a certain amount of time, you should decide the exact time you will start doing that and stick to it. If possible, set alarms on your phone on when to start studying. You can also use these same alarms to decide when to stop studying. Time management is a key part of holding yourself accountable.

As always, if you did something late or forgot to do something, do it and apologize. Turning things in late is better than not turning them in at all. Everyone has had a late assignment in their life. As long as you apologize and take accountability, you can reflect on these things and make sure next time you won't forget your assignment. Taking problems and issues you experience and facing them head-on is the best option, don't try to lie or hide anything. Being honest in your work will make you happier and encourage you to become a better learner.

Treat Yourself Nicely

Your biggest enemy is the one within you. If you constantly beat yourself up over your schoolwork, you will only bring yourself down. Don't think "I'm stupid so I couldn't do it", instead tell yourself what you did well and what you did badly. Reflect in a fair way so you can work to make yourself better. Nothing is more hurtful to you than when you start to lose hope in yourself. Take in constructive criticism from yourself, and ignore the thoughts that don't help you and bring you down.

Stop Comparing Yourself

You are your own person, what you do is in your control. Focus on your own grades and your own achievements. Sure, if you see your friends do well congratulate them, and ask them what they did to get there. But don't compare yourself to them. Work on succeeding together and bringing each other up rather than bringing one person down. When you do good and your friend does bad, offer to help them. This way you build a good friendship in which both people are taught how to rely on each other.

Plan Ahead

Sometimes things get in our way of studying. When something happens unexpectedly you can't really plan for it, but what you can do is plan for what you know is about to happen. If you are going to be very busy one day, you should plan your work ahead of time so you won't be stressed and pull an all-nighter. You can also ask your teacher ahead of time what is planned for that date so you can prepare accordingly.

Reward Yourself

When you do good on an assignment and you completed something, be proud of it. Working hard on your academics is something you should reward yourself for. Watch some Netflix or eat some desserts for when you do something positive in your academics. This will improve your self-esteem which is necessary to create a positive and thriving learning environment for yourself.

There are several different ways you can use to ensure you will succeed academically and control your stress. Remember that academics should never come before your physical and mental health. You should prioritize yourself because, without proper self-care, you will not succeed academically.  

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If you or someone you know is suffering from excessive academic stress or showing signs of distress beyond what is listed here, they may be suffering from depression. Please seek professional help if this is the case.