Dealing With Anxiety in School – Advice to Students from a Student


Clare Acuti, Staff Writer

Congrats! We made it to the second half of the 2020-2021 school year! This school year has definitely been unique and hasn’t been without its challenges. Stress and anxiety due to school work and tests can be a problem, even when there isn’t a global pandemic affecting how we learn, so here are some tips to help you deal with anxiety, plan to avoid it, and overcome it.


Studying can be a large source of anxiety when preparing for a big test or quiz so it’s important that you know how to do it in the most stress-free way possible. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, break up your studying. Let’s say you have 3 days until your next test and you need to cover a whole unit of reading or notes. Take 30 minutes on the first day to read over or rewrite whatever notes or passages you have to remember for the assessment. On the second day, spend 10 minutes reading over notes or rewriting them and spend 20 minutes on practice problems. You can find practice problems on Kahoot, Quizlet, Quizizz, and even problems from past regents if you are taking a regents level class. After going through practice problems, figure out what you had the most trouble with and what you think you can improve on to be better prepared for the exam. If there are any subjects that you feel unsure or not confident about, go to your teacher on the third day and ask if there is anything you can do to better prepare or if there are any tips/practice problems to use. The key to success can also be trusting yourself and getting a good night’s sleep before an assessment, so remind yourself that you’ve studied and prepared to the best of your ability.


As high school students, pop quizzes can be one of the most nerve-wracking and stressful things that a teacher can throw at you. You might not have had the chance to study as much as you would want or get enough sleep beforehand. The most important thing you can do in that situation is to breathe and trust yourself. When you are panicking and scared, it is almost impossible for you to focus and remember what you learned. Before you open and start the quiz, take 5 deep breaths and in between each breath try and remind yourself of 5 things you know about the topic. Chances are, the notes will come rushing back to you and you will feel more prepared. Even if you can’t think of anything that you learned, you will be more calm and breathing will help you think rationally about the questions. To prepare for instances like this that cause a lot of stress and could ruin your day, try to look over your notes for your classes every day after school. Even if it’s a quick read through, pieces of information might be able to stick if you are given a pop quiz the next day. 


As a high school student, you probably have around 8 or 9 classes that might give you homework or assignments. Looking at all of these assignments and figuring out how to tackle them can cause a lot of anxiety and my solution is to write it all down. While in school, open an empty google document and write down the homework you have as they are assigned in each class. Write when they are due and how long you think they might take you. Having all of this information on one sheet can make everything easier and it can help you feel more in control. Anxiety can also be dealt with by trying not to procrastinate and by not waiting until the last minute to start assignments. 


Anxiety around school was something that I struggled with for a very long time, and I have since been able to overcome most of my stress and fear thanks to a very important quote. It says, “There are no happy perfectionists.” This is something that I live by because it reminds me that there is no way to be perfect because humans will make mistakes. To conquer school anxiety you need to go into anxious situations with the mindset that perfection is almost impossible to achieve and that your self-worth is not based on how well you do on tests or what your GPA is. I’ve found that not putting an unrealistic amount of pressure on yourself can make you do better because it helps you do YOUR best. Not the best that someone else can do, but your personal best. With that mindset, I guarantee that you will feel happier and more confident and that will show in your grades and especially in your life outside of school. 

These methods and tips will hopefully make the second half of your year healthier and more stress-free. I promise that being a happy and involved student will make your high school experience better and it will help you in life after high school. Don’t let your anxiety be your own worst enemy. Instead, let a healthy amount of nervousness help you succeed and be your best self. 

I hope that these help and let me know what does and doesn’t work for you!