ACADEMIC AND SCHOOL-RELATED STRESS
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I’VE GOT THE WORST TEAM FOR A PROJECT. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Let your teacher know about the concern early. Then, they are more likely to understand your situation and give you advice on positive and productive team management. Going early also shows you take your work seriously and gives a better impression than checking in at the last minute. Having said that, make sure you’re not judging your team members before you’ve even started the project. Give them a chance to do their work, even if they’ve slacked on projects before. If your team members truly aren’t pulling their weight, show your teacher evidence of the imbalance. Express your concerns professionally and politely (getting upset will not help you) and accept it if the teacher says there’s nothing they can do. If there are only individual scores, just do your best on your parts and let the others do theirs. If not, then try to be as patient and understanding as you can, even if your teammates drive you up the wall. Remember it’s only one assignment and it, like everything, will pass.
I’VE GOT AN ASSIGNMENT DUE TOMORROW AND IT'S 12:00 AM. ADVICE?
Assess how much you need to do. If you can finish before school the next day, go to bed. If not, see if you can get up earlier and work then. You can take a shower or grab a mug of tea to wake up and finish in the time you have before leaving the house and before class. Trying to finish an assignment when your brain only wants to sleep will make the work harder and slower. If you wait until after you get some rest, you’ll likely work faster and more coherently. But know yourself; if you are not a morning person, push through the night! If it's an essay then write the minimum you need so you can get sleep for the next day ahead of you. Also, be honest with yourself. Does this assignment really matter? Will it affect your grade in a way that there would be no way of getting those points back? We all have these assignments that are left for the last minute, but you just have to push through it and decide if it's worth it or not. Sometimes a healthy night’s rest is better in the long run.
I CAN’T STOP FINDING DISTRACTIONS TO AVOID DOING HOMEWORK.
Everyone has been there, and it doesn’t help that many distractions are designed to be engaging. There is no perfect solution (we’ve looked) and no solution will work for everyone. Try setting your distraction in another room, meditating to clear your head, or finding something small to fiddle with that won’t disrupt your work. Some of us use headphones and find music or other noise helpful. Others need quiet, and limit the auditory stimuli in their environments. If you have the control to try, you will find a solution for you.
HOW CAN I ALLEVIATE THE STRESS SCHOOL ASSIGNMENTS HAVE CAUSED ME?
We believe the best way to approach stress caused by assignments, especially ones requiring more time and effort, is to simply space yourself out. It is very common for students to put aside an assignment until it nears its due date. However, this procrastination creates more stress. We know procrastination bites us in the end, but often find it far too easy to fall into old habits. Other times, we don’t work on a project because we spend our time working on other assignments with nearer due dates. Evening out the workload helps students not only use their time wisely, but in a way benefiting both the assignment and their own mental health. Don’t forget to take a break. Sometimes we get more stress just by stressing over the sheer amount of work. Breaks are important, but we encourage you to use them responsibly. Some students complete a 10 minute meditation to slow their thoughts down and let go of the other distractions floating around in their lives. This works best when one actually focuses on meditation. You can do this by actively clearing your mind, counting breaths, or following a guide on Youtube or elsewhere. Don’t go scrolling on your phone for a break; that usually adds more stress or distractions.
I REALLY DON’T LIKE MY TEACHER. HE/SHE ISN’T RESPECTING ME AND IS GRADING ME VERY HARSHLY.
If you really don’t like your teacher, and if it is within two weeks into the school year, it’s possible to go to a counselor to change your class. If it's already past two weeks, unfortunately it's most likely you’ll have to have that teacher for the rest of the school year. It’s best to resolve issues with your teacher by having a conversation with them. It’s also important to make sure you are respecting your teacher- you can’t get respect from a person if you don’t respect them. If your teacher seems to dislike you, ask yourself why that might be and if it is because of your actions and behavior. If you believe your teacher dislikes you based on your race, religion, or sexuality, go tell a counselor about it. All teachers and staff on campus should be respecting students equally. Teachers should not be grading you harshly just because they dislike you. They are grading based on solely how they believe you did on your work. If you believe you deserve a much higher score than the score you got, have a conversation with your teacher about it. If need be, you can also tell your parents to have a conversion with your teacher to resolve the issue.
Cats to Cats is a peer-to-peer organization. The students on staff are not qualified to give advice or assist directly with any of the mental health issues presented. All informational and educational content is from widely-accepted sources and the testimonies of individuals featured and interviewed. More information on any of the sources or individuals can be found on this page or on our website. The information cited does not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of the Cats to Cats Team or Los Gatos High School.
Students can seek on-campus professional help from our contracted mental health provider CASSY, or view our Cats to Cats Therapy Information page for information on outside organizations. In addition, crisis hotlines are listed on our website.
In addition, if we receive any information involving potential or real harm to self or others, we are legally required to report the incident, which can lead to potential intervention by school or other authorities. The person who contacted us and/or the person's parents will be contacted to verify that the student's parents are aware of the situation and/or that the student is under the care of a professional.
In case of a criminal report, or when in doubt, please contact WeTip at 1-800-78-crime. WeTip receives anonymous and confidential reports and follows up with potential crimes. We encourage all students to be upstanders instead of bystanders when they witness or are the victims of wrongdoing.