The Daily Grind: How to deal with daily stress


Signs of serious stress that should be taken note of would include: gaining appetite, intentional isolation, losing sleep, and having unusual negative thoughts or emotions.

Elijah Cho, Opinions Section Editor

The Daily Grind. My alarm clock goes off at 6:30 in the morning; the unwanted blares ringing in my ears. After forcing my head up, I go over the daily schedule in my head and then I sink into my pillow under all the pressure of those thoughts. My body switches to autopilot. The  next minute, I find myself suddenly on the sidewalk with my water jug and trumpet case in both hands, overfilled backpack on my back, my earphones playing in my ears and my mind not ready for this new day’s grind.

All high schoolers, at some point, whether it be a new freshman ready to take on the new year or a worn-out senior counting the days until graduation go through this stage of stress and anxiety. For freshmen especially, we approach our new year with great expectations and a determined mindset. But, after a few weeks of finishing projects late into the night and submitting assignments at the last second on Itslearning, the seeds of despair and stress start to grow in our minds. Soon, every day seems to be the same, a never-ending torture.

However, we should not forget that daily stress is something that all high school students face. There has always been struggle, war, natural disaster and personal grief. People have found comfort and help in community, family and God. Here are some ways to deal with stress:

       1. Be Grateful: When we look at the grand scheme of things, our lives as high school students in America in 2017 is a gift not to be taken for granted. The fact that we have an education is a blessing, as very few people in the world have been educated properly. In fact, according to UNESCO, about 263 million children and youth are out of school, with 142 million of them unable to attend high school. We even have a safe learning environment and clean food and water, which is something many schools in the world lack. We should be grateful for what we have and appreciate our good situation in life.

       2. Keep Proper Perspective: In the midst of our struggles, it feels like it is going to last forever. However, this is simply not true. In fact, if you think about it, most of the stressful situations we have been in ended sooner or later. Do not be overwhelmed of the countless days of work ahead of you. Rather, set goals for yourself to strive until the days of break start! As my band director says, “Do not try to survive, but thrive.”

       3. Remember You’re Not Alone: Ask for help from other people! Don’t think that you have to do this by yourself; you always have your upperclassmen, teachers, and parents to support you. “I turn to my friends and parents when I need support, and it does help a lot.” says senior Noah Urban. Never think counseling is a waste of time until you have actually tried to talk to somebody. 

       4. Stay Healthy: An important thing that people often don’t follow is to have plenty of exercise, food, and most importantly, sleep. Sleep seems to be most abused factor in any high-schooler’s schedule. According to the American Psychological Association, the average amount of sleep a teenager gets is about 7.4 hours while the recommended length is about 9 hours. For many people, including myself, their day starts so much better when there is at least 8 hours of sleep in your fuel tank.

       5. Keep Your Goal in Mind: In truth, although stress and anxiety seem to be major obstacles in our way, they can be overcome with the right motivators and courage. “Marching band was stressful, but it was still engaging, a group activity, and the enjoyment of it outweighed the stress.” says freshman Euan Maley. For myself, my religion and faith in God often helps me push through the day’s many work piles and stress. However, for other people it may be something else like planning to have good grades or future. Whatever your motivation may be, make sure it’s a healthy one and that it will enable to help you push through your daily trials and stress.