12 tips on how to deal with the stresses and challenges of high school

Friday, 17 August 2018
12 tips on how to deal with the stresses and challenges of high school

Do you remember your days as a teenager? How did you spend your time after school? An average high school student juggles around homework, sport and their social life on a daily basis.

From my experience I have been able to juggle these activities with a very busy timetable. I am a straight A student, who does a lot of sport and activities, has good friends and still gets 8 hours of sleep every day!

I do admit I get stressed sometimes but that’s normal, I always find a way out in the end.

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Throughout the week after school I have to juggle around:

  • Homework
  • 13 hours of extra curricular in school
  • 9.75 hours of dance and cheerleading
  • Time with friends & family
  • Practicing piano, dance and cheerleading


I believe that time management is a crucial attribute to balance my 3 activities, piano, dance and cheer-leading.

study picture.jpg

Are high school students overworked?

Lets face it, school can be tough. Different people handle high school differently and I've tried a few different methods. Here's what's worked for me.

Depending on the work load I believe I spend 4-8 hours on homework. But when exams come up I spend 8-20 hours studying.

I scrape a few minutes of study when I'm in the car, eating at lunch/recess or before dance training. Sometimes I stay up late depending on my workload, but I never stay up too late to not get enough sleep.

Don't let your friends distract you from what you need to do

I don't let my friends distract me in class, that way I will have less homework. I keep the talking for lunch or recess.

My school has a program called homework club where a few teachers stay behind to help students with their work. We have different coloured satchels for different subjects to help organise our work. They also give us diaries to write important dates and due dates to keep us on track.

Teenagers also socialise during after school activities like sport. My school provides a chess club, musical, band, Tournament of the Minds, choir, basketball and more. These give an opportunity to socialise and meet people from other year levels.


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 Are high school relationships worth pursuing?

Think of high school as a training ground. Teens who experience a variety of relationships in high school will be more prepared for college and adulthood. Dating in high school exposes people to different personalities, different traits, and different ways of life.

It’s very important to have friends with you throughout school. But sometimes peer pressure can distract you from your priorities.

A lot of teenagers are allowed to catch public transport and go where they want. Some like to go to shopping centres, each other's houses or to McDonalds straight after school.

These social demands make life a bit harder for those with a busy timetable because these activities are often unplanned.

I choose friends who will understand my decisions and priorities. When my homework is under control I then decide to go out with friends.

Are high school relationships worth it.jpg


Stress can be caused by homework, relationships, expectations, life changes, lack of time, lack of sleep and peer pressure.

Balancing school, sport and friends can be very stressful. When I have a plate full of stuff I don’t complain about it. The only solution to get my hands free is to complete whatever I have to do. 

Stressing out doesn’t help you get stuff done and it definitely does not help your mind focus or work efficiently.

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Some of the social demands teens face today:

  • Fitting in
  • Keeping up with grades
  • Eating disorders
  • Bullying
  • Peer pressure
  • Cyber addiction - social media
  • Sport and activities
  • Self esteem
  • Body image


Sometimes I do get stressed keeping up with the gossip or having great grades. Sometimes I want to fit in and just be liked, but never to an extent where I have to change myself and get so stressed.

7 ways I deal with stress

  • 1. Taking frequent breaks from work
  • 2. Write a to do list
  • 3. Sleep
  • 4. Exercise or do a hobby
  • 5. Pre-pack bags or lunch the day before
  • 6. Keep things organised
  • 7. Asking for help - it's not easy but sometimes you have to


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The key to balancing school life and social life is setting priorities. Priorities can differ depending on the person.

My priorities consist of school, extra curricular, sport, friends and family. Although my priorities are in a list, they’re all mean a lot to me and I try my hardest to fit all of these into my timetable.

School is first on my list because education is important to me since it sets me up for my future. It is also to my parents that I have good education and have many options when it comes to picking a career.

Sport, family and friends are a part of my everyday life. It doesn’t matter how busy I am I always manage to find time for these 3 things.

6 tips to make school easier by prioritising your tasks:

  • 1. Collect a list of tasks
  • 2. Select which are more important than others
  • 3. See which have more value than others
  • 4. List tasks from easiest to hardest
  • 5. Decide how much time to work on each task
  • 6. I start my hardest tasks first as well as the important ones. Then I work on things due soon and after things due later.

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Time Management

To make sure everything gets done I put my after school activities on a calendar. Simple and useful! Between school, after school activities and sport I squeeze in homework and time to talk to friends. I am sure to use my time wisely and distribute my time to different things.

6 tips to for being productive and happy at school: 

  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep every day - ideally research says that teens need 9 - 10 hours.
  • Stay focused on your current task
  • Don’t get hung up on unimportant details
  • Take frequent breaks to freshen your mind
  •  Eat healthy and exercise
  • Do something during waiting time


 Deal with anxiety stress pressure at school

6 important tips to help you deal with high school: 

  • Make a study schedule.
  • Make time for yourself to relax or play sport
  • Don't talk about how stressed you are - this just makes you more stressed.
  • Get more sleep
  • Don't critisize yourself or others
  • Think about the good - be greatful

Article written by Jelinia Santiago during her Inspiro internship.

Inspiro is a local, not-for-profit health service that provides quality health services.

Inspiro have general, family counselling, drug and alcohol counselling, counselling for anxiety, depression, loss and grief, Peri Natal depression help, counselling for social anxiety and development of social skills, adults with high functioning ASD/Asperger’s, youth counselling, help with eating disorders and more.

Inspiro also offers dental services, podiatry, speech therapy, dietetics and nutrition, diabetes assistance and physiotherapy to residents of Lilydale, Chirnside Park, Mooroolbark, Montrose, Wandin, Seville, Healesville, Croydon, Belgrave, Tecoma, Ferntree Gully, Bayswater, Boronia and surrounding areas in the Yarra Ranges and Yarra Valley.

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