November 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Senior and Stressed Out

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Ms. Rosemeier often asks seniors during the fall what their stress level is.  When she asked me I raised my hand over my head, gesturing vaguely.  “It’s up there,” I said.  I have, quite honestly, stress steaming from the top of my head like I’m a stress factory.  Stress is a little-known greenhouse gas, actually, and filtration systems are necessary to keep emissions down.  You can buy special hats for that.

Last year I naively diagnosed myself with Junioritis, in part because I thought my suffering akin to that of those endlessly complaining of Senioritis.  Senioritis, as I have learned firsthand, is a very real condition.  Symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, irritability, and the feeling that one’s heart is wrapped in a damp towel.  Prolonged exposure to the Common App intensifies stress, as do any sort of deadlines, personal tragedies, or regrettable commitments.  There are short-term ways to mitigate the effects of stress, though they stop being effective when they get in the way of SAT study time.  Here are some dos and don’ts:

  1. DO eat chocolate.  Dark chocolate contains polyphenols that reduce stress.  Ms. Rosemeier keeps a jar of Hershey Kisses on her desk for the express purpose of treating students with Senioritis and related afflictions.
  2. DO take walks, especially because you live in a beautiful place.  Exercise is important.  DON’T spend all your time curled in a ball staring at word-processing documents.
  3. DO play solitaire while listening to loud music; it is literally impossible to think of anything.
  4. DO watch every Parks and Recreation video on youtube.
  5. DON’T do your homework during lunch, DO get it done in a timely fashion the night before.  Lunch-homework is the most stressful habit ever, never resort to lunch-homework unless it’s an emergency situation.  You will mess up your eating habits.
  6. Seniors: DON’T read the College Prowler student questions for your reach schools, they will only depress you.  I’m taking six APs I play french horn my GPA is a 4.5 I’m a sophomore AM I ON THE RIGHT TRACK?? – hypergeek prep-school overachiever
  7. DON’T agree to do any extra projects if you feel overloaded with stuff as it is.
  8. DON’T forget to bring your photo ID to the SATs.  Just… don’t.

The most effective long-term cure for stress, I’ve heard, is graduation from high school.  T minus 7.5 months… if only I could figure out how Zak Vogel keeps his stress level so low.

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