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Education and Careers Work of any kind can get stressful at times. Ask in this forum if you need help with coursework, applications, and more.

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Stress is killing me - June 2nd 2017, 06:10 PM

I am getting so far behind in school right now and I only have a few more weeks to get caught up. I have countless pages of geometry homework to do and a few assignments for English. It will take me hours to do and I've been wanting to just sit down on a weekend and get all of it done. I did that a few weeks ago and got about ten pages done. Then I have more that keeps piling on. I honestly have no excuse for why I don't do it after school but I really need to.
This weekend is my birthday party so i can't work on it until Sunday after church.
Right now, I just need to manage stress and get all of it done. I'm a straight A student that is getting probably Ds (I'm too scared to check). And all this learning and misunderstanding of certain concepts is overwhelming me.
I would just like advice for staying focused, how to make my environment comfy for hours of work and motivation techniques or ideas for relieving stress. What I do now is songwriting, journaling, exercise, sing, talk. The only problem is that I get so caught up in my hobbies that I forget to actually get rid of the stress in my life by just doing the homework.And I don't want to be lazy if I don't know how to do something, I can just look it up online. It's really not that hard but I tend to ignore what I don't know. That reminds me, I have a test to make up on Monday. I better learn it. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.
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Re: Stress is killing me - June 3rd 2017, 08:31 AM

Personally I have to keep my life in balance. If I realize I have too many classes, more than I can handle, I drop a class.

(They told me I couldn't drop a class, that it was impossible. So I chose the class I wanted to drop, and decided to get an F in that class, and did zero work in that class. When the teacher handed out the first test, I left it completely blank, and just wrote a small note saying I was planning on getting an F in the class because I had too many classes. To my surprise, when they realized I was totally serious about this, they let me drop the class and told me to go to the library during that period instead.)

A graph of how much a student learns vs. how much homework they are given may start out sensibly, with the more homework they are given, the more they learn. However, there may be a point above which it catastrophically goes downhill. Give them too much homework, they become stressed. The stress reduces their ability to complete the homework, which in turn causes them to fall behind on homework, further increasing their stress, further reducing their ability to do any homework, further increasing their stress,... and it all spirals downward and crashes ó an A student suddenly falls way behind on homework, their brain gets damaged with way too much stress, everyone starts pointing the finger at everyone else, when really the problem is with the system itself, which was working fine until it was pushed a little too hard and entered the death spiral of no return.

To get out of this you need a plan that you feel comfortable with.

First I'm not sure exactly why homework fell behind in the first place. A few possibilities I can think of off hand:

  • Life out of balance. Too much homework.
  • Monkey wrench thrown into life situation. (Some external stress unrelated to school. e.g. Family problems. Health problems. Relationship problems.)
  • Not interested in school work.
    (You might have the Artisan personality type. However, this type tends not to be a straight A student, and tends not to care if they fall behind on homework.)
  • Not enough hours in the day
    (which is Life Out Of Balance ó Too Much Homework. You'll actually learn more, faster, and be happier, if they try and teach you less.)
  • Not good at managing time.
    (Need to schedule time to do homework, similar to the way school is scheduled at certain times. Open Google Calendar on your cell phone or computer, and start planning your day. Be sure to include fun time, rest time, relaxing time, and then homework time. Try scheduling in some short homework breaks, even if just a few minutes to stand up, stretch, walk around the house. The brief break for a few minutes will help clear your mind, so you'll have a clear mind when you return. Play around with it. Ask for help with scheduling, or with using Google Calendar.)
If it's a matter of Life Out Of Balance, maybe you can sense how much homework you can reasonably complete by the end of the school year, and postpone the rest for over the summer. To get out of stress, it's good to have a workable plan that you feel comfortable with, that this feels doable, so you're not overwhelmed anymore. Work with your teachers and parents on this plan. Hopefully they work with you and not against you. If all they do is give you the "Talk to the hand. Too bad." response, you may have to do as I did above when I had too much homework.

I'm glad you enjoy songwriting, journaling, exercise, sing, talk. Keep that up. Hopefully that helps reduce stress. Now just add in a little homework, but don't feel overwhelmed by having too much homework. Homework is supposed to be enough to be manageable, and doable, so you can do it, while maintaining a balanced life, and doing the other things you enjoy, enough so you can maintain the balance, and stay happy, and keep a steady pace.

A student falls behind, a good teacher will be prepared for that, will be on the lookout for that, will be waiting for any student to come to them asking for help, and will help work with the student to help them plan their day (Google Calendar), plan how much homework they can reasonably complete, ask if there are other external stresses in your life that have nothing to do with school, they want you to succeed and they want to work with you to help you succeed. (A not so good teacher will just push you and tell you to do better without giving you any real help.)

So I guess the best answer I can give, is it's much easier if you don't try to recover alone. People want you to succeed, long term, looking at the big picture, it doesn't matter if it takes you an extra month or two to learn everything. You're already a good student, bright, intelligent, they want you to succeed. In the long run all that matters is that you learn it. It's not really a race! It's not like the student who learns this stuff first wins. In the long run it's the student who is able to keep their life in balance, have fun, enjoy life, still learn the stuff, learn to schedule time to do their homework, but still schedule fun time too, so they can have both, and still be happy, they jog the marathon instead of sprint the marathon, so they don't burn out, they're the ones who make it to the finish line. (P.S. there is no finish line! It just keeps going!)

Work it out with your teachers, parents, and anyone else who's helpful to you.

Best wishes!
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Celyn Offline
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Re: Stress is killing me - June 4th 2017, 05:16 PM

Hey there,

I'm moving your thread to Education and Careers because I feel it fits a bit better there and you may get more support!

It sounds like you are struggling to get work done on time, and find yourself being overwhelmed by the stress of it all. The easiest way to manage this, as you have noticed, is to try to do some work every night after school. It's great that you have hobbies and things to do to de-stress but I understand that sometimes you may get absorbed in these activities and have less time for work. I'm not sure if it'll help you, but for me, it can help doing the work not long after you come home from school and trying to get work done in the morning when it comes to weekends and holidays. This is because it can be harder to motivate yourself when you do hobbies and other things first because you know you have the work to do later on. But getting the work done first, means you can spend the rest of your time afterwards relaxing!

Another thing that you can try to help motivate you, though not as pleasant, is to think of the consequences if you don't do the work. If you leave it last minute, you'll rush it. If you don't do the work for several days, you'll find more work piling up. Even though it is easier to ignore the things you don't know, all those things may add up and may affect your grades. And as you know, you'll feel more stressed when you rush you work, find it piling up, or see how it's affecting your grades so it's always worth trying to start the work earlier for your sake too.

The environment is also quite important when it comes to studying. Try to make sure that the area you are working in has decent lighting, isn't too hot/cold, and has little noise or distractions. You may also want to think about how much space you might need for certain projects, and even things like whether your chair or where you'll be studying is comfortable enough. Remember to turn off phones and other distractions, perhaps leave them in another room so that you aren't tempted to check them. If you are using the internet, you can put temporary website blocks on social media and other sites that may distract you.

Lastly, sometimes it really is starting the work that is the hardest part. When you get over that part, the work may be easier and quicker than expected!

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