Going through high school as a teen is undoubtedly challenging. It’s a period of highs and lows coupled with new experiences such as the expectation of taking responsibility for your actions, being a little more independent, mental and physical growth, social pressures, self-discovery and the list goes on.
But in today’s blog, I will be laying emphasis on two main factors which I think play a very big role in the stress highschoolers go through, being parental expectations and peer pressure.
Ways of Managing Stress Due to Parental Expectations
1. Give your Goals Purpose
As we all grow up, the expectations set on us by our parents simultaneously increases. They expect you to keep up a good behavior, make good grades, be successful so as to make them proud, and eventually become a trophy they can show off to their colleagues as a hard-earned result of their great investment. This is just how the cycle revolves.
In the midst of this, the point has been missed. Why are you going to school? Is it to please your parents or to please your self. Now, I’m not saying that pleasing your parents is a bad thing, no, it is a very good thing. All I’m saying, however, is that bearing such a perspective in mind will only turn you into a machine going through your school years fulfilling another person’s goal and not yours. I personally believe that gaining knowledge should be a fun experience. Unfortunately enough, this has not been the case because of the driving force behind these actions.
Give purpose to your goal; give purpose to you spending sleepless nights studying; give purpose to your desire of wanting good grades.
Most importantly let that purpose be your own invention. In that way, you will be backing up your endeavors with a key ingredient called passion and hence function at a productive and stress-free pace.
2. Surround your Self with Like-minded Achievers
No matter how passionate you think you are about excelling academically, pleasing yourself, your parents and releasing your self from the expectations set on you, keeping close company with people who are nonchalant about education won’t get you anywhere.
It seriously doesn’t matter how strong and committed you to think you are, falling is a surety. So, to save yourself the additional stress of not meeting up to the academic expectations of your parents, simply avoid the mediocre influence of such students in a class. Surround yourself with people who are topping the class. People who will push you to excel. In less than no time, you will find yourself falling into the same category too.
3. Have a Living Relationship with God
Although this may be the last point mentioned under this heading, it is definitely not the least. If you find your self having learning and attention issues in school which contributes to an increased stress level, turn to God. He will help you.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
He is the source of all wisdom and your academics isn’t any exception to that fact. If I can’t assure you of anything else, I can assure you of this. Having a thriving personal relationship with God has a lot of benefits.
Casting all your care upon him, for he cares for you .
Ist Peter 5:7
Lay all your burdens on him, he is more than willing to receive them for he is a loving God.
Ways to Reduce Stress Due to Peer Pressure
1. Find something you are Passionate about
The reason why most people get swayed by the negative influence of peer pressure results from the fact that they were preoccupied with doing nothing at the time the influence slid in. An idle mind truly is the devil’s playground. Find an art, a talent or a skill to work on. It could be singing, dancing, poetry, pastry making or even learning a second language.
The digital world which we now live in has made this quite simple, so you have no excuse. Instead of being overwhelmed by social pressures to gain social acceptance through the wrong means, consider this as an option. Invest in yourself and add more value to your being. This will assuredly reduce the stress. Besides it is a known fact that extracurricular activities combined with schooling improve one’s academics. So you definitely have nothing to lose.
2. Find an Accountability Partner
Look for someone who would be a mentor to you. Someone who would be able to encourage you and correct you when they see you making mistakes or driving too close to the edge. We have not been called to walk this walk alone. No man is an island. We all need that someone, who upholds the same standards as we do. Someone who would be our moral support, when we are feeling too pressured, someone who will keep us accountable and take the bold step together with us to stand out.
3. Let Jesus be the Standard
All of us at some point in time have fallen victim to comparison. The words he/she is better than me, have ringed through our ears several times. In this world, there will always be someone to compare one’s self to. This could either make us fall into depression or complacency, but what I’m driving at is this. Don’t let that cool kid in class be the standard. I mean, we all are human beings so why should we set standards for ourselves?
Your relationship with God should be the factor that dictates your morals and your standards. He is the only one whom you should measure yourself up to. Nobody else actually deserves that place. So don’t be pressured by the standards society or your peers set.
The person’s acceptance whom you truly need is Jesus’. He is the ultimate source of your confidence and worth.
To say that High school is all bad will definitely be a lie. Embrace its pleasures and pressures. Live in the moment. Because at the end of the day, Highschool is a phase that is going to end. So appreciate every minute of it and live through it to the fullest.