March, the month of leprechauns and lucky charms, is here! March, however, also means AP exams are a month closer, which can bring stress and anxiety to those who have a high course-load. As the end of the school year is approaching, many adolescents, myself included, often neglect their sleep or “self-care” for grades, tests, and even extracurriculars, which can contribute to more worry and those pesky butterflies. Although exams and school are important, it’s also important to value one’s own mental health. Think about it, an athlete wouldn’t go for a life-changing game without being in a healthy condition, so why does society consider mental health to be different? At any age, anxiety will always be there, and for some, it can be hard to deal with. In one case, anxiety can be good, as we can get our work done and become successful. In other cases, anxiety can be a stress-inducing, time-consuming monster, that makes us procrastinate and overthink even the simplest assignments. It’s horrible and as someone who struggles with it on a daily basis, it’s completely understandable to take over four hours for a task that’s only supposed to take one. That’s why it’s crucial to take a step back and zoom out. At this point, is this grade going to matter in five years? Does this score define your identity and who you choose to be? At any stance, the answer is almost always no.
If a homework assignment is taking too long to complete, take a break. Eat some cookies, watch some shows, or talk to a friend. In a world where everything from school to clubs is online, it can be difficult to reach out and connect, but take that risk. Almost everyone is going through something similar, whether it be preparing for a large test or simply completing a homework assignment. That’s why it’s crucial to maintain the relationships that we’re all used to having. With this “new normal,” it can be hard to talk to people while being safe, so try to facetime or call someone, even if it's just once a week. With all that being said, you come first, not the grade or test or the class. If something is taking on your mental health, make the decision that is right for you, not your mom, or your dad, or your sister. Once in a while, have a day for yourself, don’t focus on school. If something is really hard, it’s okay to talk to someone professional, as they can get you the help that you need to succeed. Also, be kind to not only others but yourself. It’s okay to have a bad day- everyone has them. Take your time, take a few deep breaths, and believe in yourself. You can do it.