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How to Stay Positive Throughout the School Year

School can be tough and as teenagers, many of us love to complain about it. However, just like anything else in life, no matter how hard it gets we have to make the best of it. Here are a few simple tips to stay sane and happy this school year.  

Some of these are more actionable while others are about your overall mindset, and can even translate into other parts of your life! Even if you don't implement all of these tips, you're sure to have a much better experience by using just one or two of them.

Choose classes you ACTUALLY like

It’s much easier to engage in a subject that you actually enjoy - or at least don’t absolutely hate. If you're reading this before second semester you can probably change classes with a quick and polite email to your guidance counselor. 

As for classes that you need to take to graduate, try to make studying for them more enjoyable. Watch YouTube videos, have study dates with friends or find ways to make the subject more fun for yourself.

Take control when possible, and Let go of it when you can't 

Be pragmatic - if you can't do anything to change something that's worrying you, LET IT GO. 

However, if it IS something under your control, TAKE ACTION. 

Quick walk-through:

Problem: I got a C in a class last year! What am I going to do for my GPA?!

Answer: Let it go. 
Logically, you can't actually do anything about something that happened in the past. This happened last year. The only things you can do now to help your GPA are doing your best in the classes you have now and in the future, in addition to doing any extra credit assignments. 

Problem: I'm SUPER anxious about an AP class I'm taking this school year. What if I can't cope? What if I do badly?

Answer: Take control
This time, you can take control because what you're worried about is in the future. Research how you're going to tackle this AP class and then come up with an action plan. The plan I would suggest for this specific example is to research what's worked for other people, implement those same things on your own, and try your absolute best in the class. 

And lastly, remember that in the end, everything always works itself out. How many things have you worried about, but they actually turned out fine? Yeah, almost every single thing you've ever worried about!

Side Note: Don’t turn on notifications for apps that show you your grades - why are you stressing yourself out unnecessarily? If you want to check your grades, just glance at them every once in a while, or when you want to. 

Figure out what keeps you calm

School can be stressful, but there are many ways you can try to stay relaxed. Some methods may work better for you but be less effective for others. The key is to experiment and find what works best for you. 

Here's a list of simple ways to loosen up:
  • Exercise
  • Talk it out to a friend or family member 
  • Stop procrastinating  (Click here to see the simple steps I took to stop doing this) 
  • Journal
  • Pray/Meditate if you're spiritual or religious
  • Create something

Practice Gratitude

Regardless of any of the problems you may have in your life, you still have many many things to be grateful for. Even school itself is a blessing (even though at the moment it may not seem like one) - millions of children around the world don't have access to quality education. If being positive is extremely hard for you, take the time every day to think of 10 things you're grateful for, to try and reprogram your brain.

Stop Comparing

Don't compare yourself to other people - just focus on yourself and do your personal best. Granted, in our society, this is hard - social media has created a culture that normalizes snooping on other people. 

The best thing you can do to stop comparing is to acknowledge that everyone is on their own journey. As long as you're trying your best, you're 100% on the right path. 

Focus on the good

Even at school, we still have fun moments. This could mean talking to your friends at lunch, doing the occasional fun game, or laughing at the jokes made by your resident class clown. There are both good moments and there are also more stressful, or scary moments. Focus on the good parts and experiences of your school day. 

Still have fun 

Just because you're trying to get good grades in school, does NOT mean you should be working hard all the time. 

Have fun - go to football games, school events, hang out with your friends and family, and do things you love. If you don't have time for the things you truly enjoy - well no wonder it's hard to stay positive. 

I hope these tips will be useful for you. Have an amazing school year!

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