This week and last week have arguably been the worst weeks of the entire school year. Seniors, especially, are suffering the most and running out of motivation to do well on the finals that are obstructing the light at the end of the tunnel — the wonderful, carefree world of SSS where binomial probability and Edna Pontellier do not exist. Every senior struggles with the inner angel telling them to study hard for their finals and the inner devil listing the reasons that community college might not be so bad. Regardless, there have been dangerously high levels of stress revolving around finals and early college decisions being released, making it reasonable to ask seniors on what they did to destress.
Zoe Epstein states, “I love to gym or run usually. It allows me to take a break and then go back to whatever was stressing me out, but the second time around is like having a fresh new mind so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. It helps a lot to leave my desk and actually go outside, going on a run to the Botanical Gardens.”
When coping with the emotional breakdowns and excessive crying unique to the high school, it is important to maintain a healthy mental state that you can return to for resuming your schoolwork. Exercise is crucial in improving concentration, alertness, and overall cognitive abilities, and is immensely helpful when your mind has run out of fuel to continue reading about the War of 1812. When feeling overwhelmingly stressed out, make yourself perform at least five minutes of aerobic exercise, an activity able to reduce anxiety and burn off those honey dijon chips that have become a staple of your stress-driven diet.
Speaking about food, eating junk food is a slightly unhealthier but nonetheless effective way to cope with stress. Lena Fuller, a participant of the Quest program (and enviously not having any finals) still feels a huge amount of stress revolving around her pending college admission. “Eating junk helps me take my mind off the horror of colleges. For those looking to eat their stress away, I highly recommend mint chocolate chip ice cream.” Stress eating is definitely not a nutritious strategy, but don’t worry too much — Bali’s a long time away so you still have time to shed those inevitable pounds.
Netflix can be used more than to just chill! Rhea Singh says she loves to watch House in bed. “I have an endless list of shows that I want to watch, and sitting in bed helps me relax after studying for long hours.” Some personal advice: if you plan on taking a break to watch Netflix, make sure you don’t get too drawn in by the binge-inducing shows. Those 15 seconds you have before one episode automatically plays to another are toxic; in the span of those short seconds, you must weigh how much you value writing a nuanced methodological section versus what Serena van der Woodsen is going to say to Blair Waldorf. Oftentimes, New York City wins.
Natalie Chassagne has an elaborate plan to de-stress: “I eat a lot of fruit because it makes me feel happy and healthy. I stretch and do yoga for 20 minutes. I also drink decaf tea before bed, light candles, and take a hot shower.” Very cute.
Although this week, to some, may present allusions to Hell, remember: this, too, will pass and some of us will finally be able to bask in the warmth of SSS (second-semester senior syndrome) with a college acceptance letter in hand. Good luck to everyone!