admissions,  stress

the halcyon days of youth

I’m going into my senior year and I’m having such anxiety about getting my grades high enough for u of t! Do you have any tips on how to relax in this time of panic??


hey there,

i mean, different things work for different people. some people like bubble baths. some people prefer marathoning TV shows. i myself like ravaging countrysides and kidnapping princes, but hey, to each their own.

there are lots of different feel-good things you can do, but ultimately there’s one thing at the root of your stress, and that’s a worried mind. somehow, you need to convince yourself the worry is not worth it.

when i DELVE deep into the PSYCHE of the high school student, i see two possible ways of minimizing stress: channelling your anxious energy into the thing you’re stressed about, or away from it. like so:

1. channelling your anxiety into the source of the anxiety.

the next time you feel really nervous about grade 12, create a plan for how you’re going to do really well. and none of this ‘i’ll try really hard.’

what you need are specific things you can do to improve your grades, like ‘i’ll limit myself to three extra-curriculars’ or ‘i’ll get a tutor for math’ or ‘i’ll offer lackeying services to my grade 12 physics teacher so she passes me.’ practical stuff. review the admissions requirements and see where, if anywhere, you’ll need to up your game to meet them. if you have a plan, you’ll feel a lot more prepared, and a lot less nervous.

2. channelling your anxiety away from the source of the anxiety.

focus on acquiring a skill outside of school. i know that grade 12 is beyond stressful with applications and school and often a part-time job, but if you can find even half an hour a day to try learning something new, it’ll take your mind off things.

learn a new musical instrument, or try learning a new language. or, if (like me) you’re not talented in cool and interesting ways like music or languages, it could be something as small as mastering sudoku puzzles, or keeping a diary. building completely new neural pathways is a challenge that requires all of your focus, meaning you’ll spend less of that focus on uni stress.

best of luck and try not to worry too much, chum. wrinkles don’t look good on young folks like us.



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