First of all, Secondary School can be a very stressful experience especially if you aim to achieve certain results (which a lot of people do). What I can say after finishing school is that these results won't determine the rest of your life. They might make things easier for you for example when it comes to getting into uni but bad results don't mean the end of the world - there will always be other options and ways to achieve your dreams. That might be studying abroad or simply studying at another university. What seems bad at first might turn out to be a good thing. It isn't only the opportunities you get it is also what you make out of them. Some people could get their dream job and still be unhappy. Anyway, another thing is that one single mark doesn't matter - when I had just started High School I would get stressed about every single exam and looking back I can say that this was unnecessary. Everyone has a bad day from time to time or has problems understanding a certain topic and that's fine - we're at school to learn. And even if you get a bad mark it will be just one bad mark - next year it will be forgotten. Trust me, no one will ask you about your grades in year 8 or 9 so try not to stress about it too much.
Talking about avoiding stress - High School might also be a stressful experience on a different level. Yes, I'm talking about group pressure and about groups at school in general. It is important to keep in mind that being different is okay. And if you don't feel comfortable at school or if you're feeling unaccepted try to remind yourself that it won't last forever. Eventually school will be over and you will meet a lot of other people in life who will appreciate you and like you just the way you are. Moreover pupils often seem intolerant and judgemental and in my experience these students are often very self-conscious themselves and don't know any other way to appear as confident than to suppress others - this is no excuse of course but sometimes it helps to think that their behaviour shouldn't be taken personal - the problems lies within them and has nothing to do with you, in fact you're probably the stronger person. When I was young the opinions of the other pupils in my grade mattered to me a lot and if someone would say something negative about me or my friends it would really affect it. When I got older I learnt that their opinions didn't really matter. It's your life, your choices, your happiness. You should do what makes you content whether that might be taking dance lessons, playing an instrument or just trying to get good grades - there always is a time where getting good grades and studying for school is definitely not seen as 'cool' - which doesn't make the slightest sense, at least from a later point of view. If you want to study and give your best, that's great. Because why should giving your best be false or uncool? It is not. People trying to tell you the opposite are very likely to be jealous of your success and will try to degrade it instead of admitting that they would like to achieve these grades themselves. Another thing is, though, that grades shouldn't determine your self-worth. It isn't all about school and being successful, it is about getting a job you enjoy and living the life you want. If you're struggling to study and to achieve the grades you aspire, then you will certainly have another talent - that might be cooking, dancing, art, writing or social skills. Everybody is good at something, even if it takes you a long time to figure your talents out. I think it's really important to do things that aren't connected to school - join a club, do a course or start writing a blog. This way you can make new experiences and discover new talents and make yourself proud.
Another thing is studying. There are loads of things to make studying easier. The key is organisation and planning ahead, especially if you got 3 exams in one week. Make a list what to study which day. If you got your finals coming up grab a calendar and put down the subjects and the content you want to study for each day. But don't try and study all day, it is really important to take breaks. What I did when I had to study for my finals was studying until the early evening and then going out for a nice dinner - it is important to treat yourself to things you enjoy when studying, otherwise you will eventually lose your mind.
And don't stress too much about the future. Eventually you will start studying and get a job, it doesn't matter if that happens 6 months sooner or later - just like it doesn't matter if you start studying something that turns out to be the wrong thing for you. It was still a valuable experience - as it is also important to know what you don't want to do with your life and you don't have to feel bad or guilty about dropping out. Admitting that you didn't choose the right thing for yourself requires strength but it's worth it - no one wants to be stuck in a job he or she doesn't like at all. And if you find out that what you're doing isn't something for you then tell yourself that you tried and decided it didn't fit. Medicine isn't for every one just like journalism isn't for everyone. Another thing is that if you got a dream then try your best to follow it - if you fail, that's fine. At least you can say that you have tried and you have probably still learnt a lot on your way. Talking about dreams, I can highly recommend going abroad during your time at school. It is a great way to broaden your horizon, to get out of your comfort zone and to make loads of new and great experiences. It might also give you a whole new perspective on life and it will definitely help you to boost your confidence and to care less about other's people's opinions (which is very useful at school). I went to a school in England and looking back I wouldn't trade it for anything, it changed me a lot as a person and helped me realise who I wanted to be.
I think there are three things that are important to have a better time at school - first of all don't stress yourself so much, whether it comes to grades, the future or your results. Try to be tolerant and treat other people with respect. And remember, hate or mean behaviour from others is a problem caused by them, not by you, and if it's not too much (this isn't a post about bullying!) then try to ignore it and focus on these bringing positivity into your life. Secondly, organisation is key. Make lists, get the right material but don't forget to treat yourself to breaks. The third thing is: don't let school determine your self-worth. If your grades aren't as good as you wish you still have a lot of other talents. Because once you enter university or get a job no one will care about the grades you once got at school. So if you're struggling, stay strong, it might not seem like it but eventually school will come to an end.
I hope this might have helped some of you. x
- picture taken from tokyotimes.com
If you got any other tips, leave a comment below.