Junior shares strategies for tackling overwhelming course expectations

As the end of the first semester nears, stress has been creeping in for one student. Junior Gillian Irish said she has noticed an increase in the workload she’s faced this year compared to her sophomore year. “The jump between sophomore and junior year was insane. I’ve been spending so much time outside of school trying to maintain my grades and keep up with assignments. I honestly wish I would’ve prepared to handle stress better.”

She’s shifted her focus to managing her stress levels. “I don’t think I can physically sit down and take a test with a whole bunch of stress laid on my shoulders, especially not midterms.” 

She has employed some strategies for managing the workload and stress. “I like to write out the things I need to get accomplished and plan to set time aside in the future for myself and to just relax. I’m not going to get any work done unless I have the energy to.”

Irish said she has also sought the advice of multiple current seniors on the best ways to approach testing. One senior, Ella Hurtz, said, “Studying can go a long way when it comes to ‘bigger’ tests, but nothing compares to how important it is to take care of yourself. I can’t stress how important it is to sleep well, eat breakfast and drink water,” she said. “People think it doesn’t make much of a difference, but in reality, you’re going to go to school with a lot more energy and brain-power than before.”

Irish said, “As excited as I am to go through junior year and explore different classes, I wish there wasn’t as big of a workload. It’s really easy to burn yourself out when trying to do class work, and it gets even worse when you miss a day or two of school,” but she’s looking forward to the new courses in the second semester. “You can never plan too early. Might as well start setting goals and time-management skills before the second semester turns into hell too.”

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