“I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed lately. It seems like there are so many decisions to make in such a short amount of time and if I make the wrong decision it could affect my entire life.”
These were the words of one of my daughter’s friends as I ate lunch with the two of them one Saturday afternoon. Both the girls are juniors in high school. If you are an adult and you remember anything about high school, you know these can be some of the best times and worst times in adolescent life. If you are an adolescent, you may relate to this teen's words. As we ate lunch, I had them list some of the events and/or situations that were causing them stress.
Advanced Placement Courses
Family Expectations about their grades
Wanting to spend time with friends v.s. studying
SAT’s and ACT test
I had to agree with them. These teens have a great deal to think about. Some of these decisions are made daily, such as choosing to hang with friends over studying more. Some of their decisions will affect other opportunities, such as lower test scores may affect college choices. So, as a former educator, a mom, and a former teen (many years ago) here is my advice to teens during this time of transition:
1. Be flexible.
It is awesome to set goals.We would all like to get into the college of our choice.However, life sometimes has a way of taking turns when we least expect something to happen.It is good to apply to more than one place.If you are not headed to college try to find work in jobs that you have an interest in and that utilize your talents.
2. Allow yourself to make mistakes.
Often when a student gets toward the end of a goal or achievement such as graduating high school, he/she may feel the pressure of the end being in sight.He/she may find him/herself frustrated over not having taken a certain class or not having participated in a certain activity. You must learn to look at those occasions as life lessons instead of mistakes.Now you are prepared and know what to look for when opportunities come along in the future.
3. Don’t compare yourself to others.
Although much of junior and senior year is filled with concern about GPA and test scores, you must learn to focus on your own personal best not that of your classmates.
4, Rely on your support system.
Talk about your stress with parents, close friends, and teachers.You may find it helps relieve some anxiety.
5. Enjoy the present!
If you need help with stress during this transitional time please feel free to call Path To Hope Counseling. Call today to make your appointment, 919-618-6526 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.