Our Take: De-stress yourself

Exam reviews. Quarter projects. Virtual school deadlines. With the end of the semester approaching, it is easy to become bitter about how much we have on our plates. It can feel like our teachers, bosses and club advisers conspire to make our lives miserable, but instead of complaining, we should use this stress as a reminder of how easy it is to overload ourselves.

It’s not fun to admit, but much of the stress this time of year is our own fault. It’s an exciting feeling when you first get that blank schedule request form and have the ability to form your future simply by writing a course number in a box. When clubs start taking applications for officer positions, it’s easy to take one and dream of the great things we’ll get to put on our college applications. At the end of the semester, however, the down side can be a load too heavy to bear.

Even though AP classes and leadership positions are important and look good in the long run, it is also important to think about what kind of life you’re going to be living when you’re piling them on.

When you have to give up going to Light Up UCF with friends so you can study for an exam or give up studying because you are scheduled to work, you are feeling the effects of overscheduling. If we know the kind of havoc this kind of pressure wreaks, why do we continue to do it to ourselves year after year? A lot of it is caused by pressure from parents, teachers and sometimes ourselves. Students going into their junior year will feel pressured to sign up for higher-level classes to make themselves seem impressive to colleges. Rising seniors feel like they should take on a part-time job even though they’re adding more AP classes to their schedules.

Stress levels can feel unfairly high this time of year. While some have pointed to Oviedo High School’s stress-free week, full of activities like dog-petting at lunch, as the pinnacle of end-of-semester coping, whining about it doesn’t fix anything. Is there ground for complaint about the intensity of the curriculums at this school? Absolutely.

However, it is highly unlikely that the rigorous pace will change, so adapting is the only option. Exam week will always be stressful, but you need to be smart about what classes you take.

Very soon, counselors will be visiting classes and handing out 2017 curriculum guides. As you begin to fill out your schedules for the next year and load your plate up with plenty of extra curriculars, remember this feeling. Remember the stress of studying for exams while balancing your 20-hour a week job or your seven leadership positions in clubs, and make the wise decision for yourself for next year.