The Art of Taking Care of Yourself in the American School System

To many, the American school systems is known as one of the worst because it truly is! Students are over worked, over tested, forced to take the SATs and ACTs, and while students are subject to all of this we have our own lives to live. As a junior in high school, I am right smack in the middle of the chaos. I have lived through 11 years of the stressful system, turning in meaning less papers the I sacrificed sleep, food, and relaxation for. As a second semester junior looking back, I feel as if I have found a moderately good way to take care of myself while still succeeding in the game of school.

  1. Get your sleep! Cut yourself off from doing work at a certain time each night, my time is 8:30 pm. If you stop doing your work you will be able to get a reasonable amount of sleep, not only will your final work product be better, but you will have more energy to put into working on it the next day because of those extra 3 or 4 hours of sleep that your body needs.
  2. Have fun on Friday nights and Saturday, don’t put pressure on yourself to keep working the second that Friday afternoon school bell rings. Your mind and body needs a break and you as a human need to allow yourself to relax and have fun. This will leave you more focused when it comes to doing your work on Sunday.
  3. Take a sick day when you need one! I have never been one to go to school on days where I felt extremely ill, I know I am not going to be a productive and active participant in my classes if I am unable to focus due to an illness. When your body is sick it needs rest and low stress, something that school does not provide. I know you have to makeup work when you get back, but making up work when you are well is better than doing shitty work in the moment. Plus if you go to school with a fever or let’s say strep throat, you are bound to make other people sick and yourself sicker.
  4. Take classes you are interested in. This year I took classes I had a genuine interest in, this made it easier to complete the work, and I ended up enjoying what I was doing with my time in school.
  5. Don’t do full IB!  I take an IB class myself  but I am not full IB. If you are shooting for an IB diploma go for it, however those hours that you slaved away on the miserable nights will not mean anything when you are in college/during the college admission process. Save yourself the stress and take a few IB classes but do not give up any sort of life you have to the full IB schedule.



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