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*Takes a deep breath before typing..*

It is junior year and I've been sitting here staring at the same page of my history text book for all of twenty minutes. I've only had a hard time turning the page since I've been stressing out. I want to get so much done that, sometimes I just can't do much of anything. Then again, college has also been on my mind. And if I'm going to be honest, the mere mention of the word college raises my stress level. 

You still have a year, my momma says. 

But having gone through two (and nearly three years in May) of college preparatory high school, I know that a year is not much, if anything at all. Because I know I have been working towards this for so long, I feel fear of making too many costly mistakes. The entire conversation on college applications makes me anxious. I don't feel ready. I don't know if I can do this. I don't know if I might fail. I don't know what I will do then. 

Then again, all this thinking, I've realized is a bit pre-mature. It doesn't feel like it to any junior at my school though, go ahead and ask them. The anxiety feels way too close for my comfort. It's not like I can just hide from it either, none of us can. I just hate that so many of my classmates are stressed out, mostly because I can feel it. 

No doubt junior year has taught me so much from: how to fill out physics worksheets in between nap breaks, review English literature devices in the car, run history timelines in my head while walking, and how to even summarize math lectures in the middle of brushing my teeth.  

Our stress levels though seem to escalate everyday though even just at seventeen. 

It's so easy to fall into thinking that stress is just something we can avoid by steering away from procrastination though. I think it's more than that.

It involves the way we go about thinking of things, just like it involves time management. 

I over-think. And I let my mind race when I am already stressed. I am learning better though, every day I am a junior and everyday I get closer to being a high school senior. And being seventeen I'm trying to make sure that I don't spend too much time stressed.

Stressing more doesn't give many people time to work more.

Working more than stressing is always more productive. 

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Comment by Marisa Martinez on April 21, 2013 at 1:25pm

I am a current first year student- 

FIRST THINGS FIRST- your stress level. I'm glad you're making the effort to not be so stressed. Because honestly I can already tell you will do GREAT! The fact that you're able to study during little daily activities proves that you are obviously good at studying and absorbing information from class. Some of the things you listed are things I CANNOT even do right now as a current college student at the University of Texas at Austin in Austin, TX. I went to a high school where the academic rigor was low, and studying wasn't necessary. But yet, here I am, at a competitive university doing well in classes that are not blow-off classes. Yes, it is sometimes upsetting thinking about how a lot of time is dedicated to studying. But NOT NEARLY ENOUGH that it should be taking up all of my time. There is still plenty of time for fun (you may define that as you wish). And I think that's how I stay positive. If I spent all my time studying I would probably not be performing as well as I am now because I would not have any motivation. 

I recommend STUDY BREAKS! :) The fact that you're already so well-trained at doing the amount of work that college will demand, tells me you have time to take an evening off every once in a while at some points during the school year. 

Also, although challenging college is not something that can't be reached. And your school background says that you will definitely do well in school and just by being there, you're already making a positive correct decision in your life (you're not failing). 

High school is your LAST four years to be able to have fun without having all the extra responsibilities of an adult. (yes, sometimes those responsibilities will not be fun, but once you get to college, ultimately you'll LOVE them). If there's anything I regret from high school it was never letting go every once in a while and going out with my friends. I was always worried about being late for class, or my attendance, or my grades all the time, that I rarely hung out with my friends as many times that I would have liked to before I never saw them again.

So overall: Just relax. High school is a time where you can enjoy/celebrate your youth/pre-adulthood and experience awesome things like hanging out with friends, graduation, extracurricular activities, school dances, and overall rare experiences that can come from this period in your life. Yes, college will have plenty of wonderful experiences as well, but it is also a time during your adulthood where those experiences would be different than those now. You are a great student as I can tell and your future has good things in store for you. You will not fail or make any too-costly mistakes pertaining to college. We all just have to remember: no matter what happens, life is still going to go on, and we'll be able to move on from whatever mistakes we make and grow from them and be happy with our current outcomes.

Enjoy high school and don't spend all of it worrying about something that has not even happened yet. Keep a good balance of social activities and studying. Everything will fall into place. Life will go on, you will graduate and get to your future without all the added stress. And it will be all the more worth it when you get to look back at all the cherished moments and experiences you got to have in high school (instead of stress).

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -- Ferris Bueller

from the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off  which, by the way, if you haven't seen, is a great movie that could help you with your worries you speak of, as do many 80's movies. Although outdated, they're inspiring. 

Comment by Wendy Gonzalez on April 18, 2013 at 9:30pm

As a college student now I would just like to say that it is not as bad as they put it to you. Yes college is different but I think it is different in a good way. Yes it is challenging but not unberable. College is fun it is a time in which you mature and you grow intellectually and emotionally. There is no such thing as failure. I mean technically there is, but what is the worse thing that can happen? In medical school the last person in the class that graduates is still called doctor. Life is about discovering your strengths its is a trial and error process. Fear is ok but do not let that affect who you are. Do not let those fears start to damage your body. Enjoy yourself of course I am not saying to forget about everything and stop studying. Simply believe in yourself and trust yourself and if things do not go the way you wanted, continue to trust yourself.

 


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