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The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Stressed? Here are 5 Ways Students Cope at WIS

Mansion at WIS, Nov. 19, 2020

42 percent of teens feel they do not know how to manage their stress, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). If you are one of those teens who are facing the treacherous waters of high school and stress, here are some tips and tricks that will help you find out how to manage and control it.

According to Dave Forrester, a counselor at Olympia High School, teenagers now have to perform at a much higher level than when his generation was in college. There is more pressure for teens now to grow up a little faster; to choose what we want to do now and how we are going to do it. These higher expectations make it harder to manage and control stress. 

Making a checklist 

Creating lists helps you know what you have to do in a day. Knowing how much you should get done helps you turn a huge project into a bunch of small assignments.  Staying organized is one of the most recommended stress coping mechanisms. It isn’t as stressful when everything is broken down into smaller parts. 

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“The checklist lets you see that you’ve done something today and that calms me down,” senior Eleftheria Fithian said. 


Exercising has been proven to be one of the most effective stress management strategies for teens. 

“Playing sports has been great because it’s a set amount of time where you are not allowed to think about school, which I think can be really good,” junior Julia Dell’Ariccia said. 

Dell’Ariccia isn’t the only student who feels that exercise helps her manage stress. 68 percent of teens report that exercising, whether that means walking or playing a sport, is an extremely effective technique in managing stress, according to the APA.

Playing an instrument 

Exercising and staying organized are both strong forms of stress relief but sometimes you have other talents that can be used, such as playing an instrument.

Junior Rauf Hurcan said that playing the piano, for him, can be more effective than going out for a run. 

While playing the piano may seem like a polar opposite activity to exercise, it can help just as much and release the same amount of endorphins, which are hormones that induce happiness. 

Adults and teens who play an instrument have lower blood pressure, a decreased heart rate, lower stress levels, and a reduction in anxiety and depression, according to the Liverpool Academy of Music

Reading a book

“The Ballads of Songbirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins. Dec. 4, 2020

Reading books can be exactly what you need when you are panicking and stressed. Taking a break and leaving your world to enter one of fiction, sci-fi, or history can help you take a mental pause from stress.  

“Reading a book helps… focusing on something else that isn’t my stress is what helps the most,” freshman Isabella Duchovny said.

Reading might be the small little break from reality that you need. 

Taking breaks 

When you have 15 assignments due, a bunch of tests, and finals coming up, pausing from your work may be the last thing you want to do, but taking a break will help you focus more. 

“I try to make breaks for myself, and I tried to … take time to do things I really enjoy. Even if they’re not necessarily productive,” senior Lilli Berninger said. 

Taking breaks gives you a mental pause. In those breaks, you can do anything you find enjoyable and relaxing, such as watching TV, drawing, or listening to music. 

At the end of the day, stress will always be in your life and it is OK to accept that maybe you don’t have everything under control. 

“Nobody has their life entirely under control,” Berninger said. “Some people are just really good at faking it. Don’t be so hard on yourself.” 

By Elektra Gea-Sereti

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About the Contributor
Elektra Gea-Sereti
Elektra Gea-Sereti, Opinions Editor
Hi my name is Elektra and I am a senior plus the Opinions editor. I have been at Dateline since 9th grade, and my opinion articles range from social media trends to movie reviews. While not being opinionated can be strenuous, I do write the occasional sports, features, and food article. Outside of Dateline, you can find me on the volleyball court, or debating people in Mock Trial. 

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