Coping with the Stress

Graduation is just around the corner for many students, so we’ve invited our developer and Indiana High School Intern of the Year Camisa Vines to share how she manages stress–especially while juggling multiple roles during her senior year of high school.

From Camisa:
Everyone deals with stress. It’s inevitable. It may not occur in your life the same as a friend or different groups of people; you may not even know that you’re stressed, but it’ll happen. As a high school senior, I am currently facing the most stressful period of my life, thus far. I’m faced with college preparation, test scores, scholarships, class rank, prom, sports, social status, and one of the most lethal conditions called senioritis. And in addition to that, I now have 3 internships (one of which is with Luma, of course).

I know what you may be thinking, “Oh, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Just a typical teenager looking for the easiest way out.” Trust me! I used to think the same way. But, it’s the truth. Most of the time, my schedule is so heavily occupied that I just get 6 hours of sleep, on a good day. While deprivation of sleep can cause added strain on my daily activities, the majority of the tension was caused during those events. Ultimately, I find myself in a cycle where I feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. So, I have to find small opportunities of release and relaxation.Looking back now, I can say that I used to be a perfectionist. And in some respects, I still am. In other words, I was someone who refused to accept any standard short of my best. Whether it be homework, athletic achievements, or volunteerism, I could never be satisfied with just an ‘okay’ job. Some see this as a good thing—to a certain extent, it was, but it also came with a lot of unnecessary anxiety and pressure.

When I finally acknowledged that I was feeling stressed, I realized how unhealthy my lifestyle had become. Since then, I’ve been more composed and productive, all because I learned to manage my time better, cope with the inevitable stress, and disregard many negative things in my life that had no purpose.

Tip 1 IconTip #1 Don’t Mind What Others Think
In other words, don’t allow others’ opinions prevent you from being yourself. I know there’s often a pressure to keep your social status, but when I decided to stop worrying about what others think, that pressure went away along with a lot of negative energy. I was able to be myself with no insecurities. I advise everyone to do what they love, and nothing else will matter.
Tip 2 IconTip #2 Don’t Forget to Enjoy Yourself
At least for myself, I know I can get so focused on my work schedule that I forget to just be a kid. I know that everyone doesn’t have that luxury, but It’s important to have fun sometime. Being highly active in my school and community, I sometimes feel like I’m wasting my youth. And this alone can be stressful. But I find that I enjoy myself most around my closest friends. I believe that anything could be fun as long as we do it together. Work is important, but we should enjoy the time the time we have.
Tip 3 IconTip #3 Breaks are Essential
I am a soul believer in mental health time. For me, it is crucial that I have ‘me time.’ When I’m having a bad day, it seems like every little thing bothers me. So, I find small things that relax me. I may go for a walk around the office/house, have a snack, or play a quick game. This allows me to stop thinking about the work for while. And after I refuel, I work that much more efficiently. Occasionally, I even schedule time for me to unwind. When things get to be too much, take some time off. It can’t hurt.
Tip 4 IconTip #4 Everything is Going to be Just Fine
In 5 weeks, I’ll walk across the stage, diploma in hand, in a blue cap and gown. My family will be there to hear my name called. The summer will pass and in the fall, I will attend college. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that everything will work out in the end. If it doesn’t, it wasn’t meant to be (That sounded like a cliché, but it’s true), but we shouldn’t dwell on what life hasn’t provided, but what it has. There are going be bumps and detours on the way to the finish line. And sometime, you may not even see it, but you must remember that is is there. Another cliché. I’ve come to understand that every little detail will not go as planned but it’ll be okay.

Maintaining my physical and mental health may be some of the most important things that my high school career has taught me. And I still haven’t mastered all these lessons, but I have all of college to keep practicing.

You can find Camisa on LinkedIn.

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