A Little Lee-way: Keep calm, study on


Ka Leo o Nā Koa blogger Mehana Lee shows what happens when you let stress get the better of you.

By Mehana Lee, news editor

Editor’s note: Missing Amanda’s (’12) pearls of wisdom? Well, miss no more! Welcome to senior Mehana Lee, our new blogger. Read her column, “A Little Lee-way,” every Wednesday, right here at kaleoonakoa.org.

“A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well.” -Unknown

The first quarter of our school year is almost over. You know what that means…chapter tests, midterms and last but definitely not least, stress. And lots of it.

It’s unavoidable no matter how many hours we spend studying terms on flash cards, practicing equations on scratch paper or reviewing notes from previous chapters. It’s like the weight of the world lies on your shoulders, and on top of that there’s practice, tutoring, part-time jobs, chores, babysitting, and so on.

You’ve gotten to that point where you feel like giving up. But here’s some advice: just don’t.

It’s too easy to say “Ah, I’ll just do this tomorrow morning during class. The couch and TV are waiting for me.”

In reality, waiting around to do your homework or project last minute is just going to stress you out even more. So just do it.

I’m not saying that I’ve always been on top of getting my work done early. In fact, I probably procrastinate when it comes to procrastinating. But I can say that I’ve gotten a lot better at motivating myself to get off Tumblr or Instagram and actually open up my Pre-Calculus textbook to start on the next problem.

I’ve learned that it takes a lot to handle the side effects of stress — loss of sleep, anxiety, the jitters, overthinking situations and complete mental breakdowns. You know those feelings; we’ve all been there, and you are definitely not alone.

It’s the life of a highschooler. See, this is a tricky thing.

In high school we want to experience all that we can, maintain a social life and also excel in grades and athletics. We want to make everyone feel happy…including ourselves.

Sometimes we take on more than what we can handle, thus creating more stress on top of the stress we already had.

Here are some simple tips to help with reducing your everyday stress:

1.   Don’t think of all the things you have to do at once.

Break it down and do one thing at a time. It’s easier to get things done in steps instead of worrying about everything else you have to finish.

2. Take a 15-20 minute break from studying.

Take a quick walk outside, listen to some music, have a snack, pet your dog. Just take some time to breathe. But, don’t forget to come back!

3.  Organize everything out.

We’re given planners for a reason, so use it. Write down assignments and the due dates so you know exactly by when it should be finished. That way you won’t be rushing the night before to get your assignment done.

4. Make a goal and reward yourself.

Having something to shoot for actually helps motivate you to get work done faster. Something like, “When I finish my English essay by nine, I’ll treat myself to a bowl of ice cream,” sounds pretty rewarding to me.

Hard work pays off. It’s probably one of the greatest feelings knowing that you’ve accomplished something, even with obstacles in the way.

Stress is only temporary. Everyone deals with it. Just learn how to stay calm, relax and keep your head in the books, and you, too, will be a valuable diamond one day.

Good luck, and just remember, fall break is right around the corner!