Private schools can be notoriously rigorous, particularly in the middle and upper schools. Often, for example, high school students in private schools take a number of difficult classes, including some advanced (or in some schools, Advanced Placement classes), while participating in extracurricular activities and sports outside of class. While a manageable level of stress helps many students perform at their best and can be motivating, too much stress is counterproductive. Here are some strategies for defeating stress in school:
Tip #1: Take Advantage of Your School's Resources
Private schools are employing their own resources to defeat stress, including classes in relaxation techniques and yoga. Take advantage of these classes if you can, which are often taught as part of the health or life skills curriculum. Some schools also offer classes on study skills that help students understand how they learn best. These classes can teach you to study more effectively and efficiently, reducing the time you need to spend on your schoolwork and eventually reducing your stress level.
Tip #2: Learn to Study Effectively
Using classes taught at your school or the help of your teachers or other mentors, you can learn to study more efficiently. If your work is taking too long or you aren't getting the results you want, be sure to ask your teachers what they recommend. They may have strategies to help you speed up your work, and they may also be able to direct you to additional resources--such as online sites from your textbook that you can use to quiz yourself--that make your studying easier and faster.
Tip #3: Speed Up Your Homework
Learn strategies to make your homework go more quickly. For example, if you notice that most of your homework time is spent surfing the web or on Facebook, you may need to disconnect yourself from the Internet while you are working. Some students even work on laptops that aren't wired for the Internet so they can spend homework time actually working on homework. Try to find a peaceful homework spot where you won't be disturbed, and set a timer so that you are aware of time passing. Estimate how long tasks will take you--and try to spend the time working instead of wasting time.
Tip #4: Learn How to Work with Teachers
Your teachers are there to help you. In private schools, you can work with your teachers and stop by their offices after school if you don't understand the material. At the beginning of the school year, ask your teachers how to arrange extra-help sessions, and learn how to work best with each teacher. For example, some teachers like students to e-mail them to set up times to meet, while other teachers are around before or after school. Be sure to attempt to do your work, and then ask your teachers questions based on what you've already done, rather than simply complaining, "I don't get it!" Learning how to work with teachers will reduce your stress levels.
Tip #5: Work with a Tutor
If you've tried to work with your teacher but still don't understand the material, consider working with a tutor or homework helper who is familiar with your school and its demands. Some schools also provide peer or other tutors who can help you. When working with a tutor, be sure to do all the work yourself and ask your tutor questions or tips about how to approach the work. You may also want to ask your tutor to show you strategies to make your work more efficient and to help you prepare for tests with less stress.