Don’t Stress About It!


Ifraah Shegow stresses over her school work.

Aidan Vu, Editor, Writer & Photographer

A counselor comprehends a student’s concerns. Image credit:

The transition of middle school to high school classes for freshmen can cause a lot of stress from the overwhelming amounts of homework, studying hours for quizzes and tests students have everyday, maintaining a high GPA, and doing after school activities. This is especially more extreme for AP and Pre-AP students, who learn at faster rates. The pressure weighs more for athletes and fine arts students as well, spending hours for practices after school. Melanie Hollins, a freshmen at Westside states her transition, “It was overwhelming because I didn’t know how high school was going to be like. Middle school had easy work and classes, but in high school I was bombarded with work. I had so much pressure on my shoulder with tests that were 70% or 60% of my entire grade.” One of Westside’s school counselors, Ms. Lumpkin explains the common problem of middle school students transitioning to high school, “Overwhelmness…the feeling of being overwhelmed and not knowing, and then not doing anything about it. Just going with the flow, when you don’t have a target aim, you are not really gonna know what is going on.”   Many freshmen don’t know how to handle and avoid stress, but there are many different ways to stay “stress-free.”

A few pointers that were advised for preventing anxiety for freshmen, are to select your friends appropriately, not based artificially or their physical appearance, but students who strive to go further academically. Students should manage their time, like creating a schedule for balancing your academics and school activities. Make sure you take time for yourself to relax and refresh your mind. Helping others can boost happiness and allows us to reflect what we are grateful for. Applying these simple tasks maintains your health and puts you at your highest potential.

Students who need someone to guide and understand their emotions and concerns over personal issues in a private area are able to go to our school counselors, Ms. Lumpkin and Ms. McIntosh. Ms. Lumpkin has established a girls group that meet every Thursday during lunch, a guidance class, and a Tuesday group for resetting and re-grounding yourself through mediation and breathing exercises. Westside offers a DBT group, which is an alliance group that aids students who suffer any mental illnesses to navigate, handle triggers, and how to deal with anxiety.

It is difficult for freshmen students to handle stress and prevent anxiety from the shift to high school from middle school; however, the number of techniques to deal with the overwhelming pressure out number the causes of stress. Simple activities can boost your esteem and can motivate you to work at your highest level. Westside offers different organizations and counselors to turn to for guidance. All in all, freshmen students have many options to learn how to handle their stress and make their transition to high school smooth and easy, so don’t stress about it!