Illustration: Lindsey Jin

Illustration: Lindsey Jin

High school is a whirlwind of joy, stress, success, and the occasional case of insanity. Regard this guide as a holy mantra and you might find yourself graduating with 99% of your sanity intact.

  1. Embrace the Distractions

In a world of social media and entertainment, it’s easy for your mind to wander and skip away from daily responsibilities. It is up to you, though, to determine how to face these distractions. You can take a dive and fall into an abyss of leisure filled with movies, cats, and music. However, you can also embrace these distractions, manipulating them to serve as a tool for your work. If you find your hands inching for your headphones, put them on to block the constant chatter of people around. Are your eyes glued to your phone? Switch to the calculator app and do your math homework instead. Can’t stop talking to your friends on Facebook? Message them your entire English essay and ask for an edit (and observe how quickly they ‘disappear’ from the site).

  1.  Find Motivation

We cannot stress how important it is to find motivation to push yourself along. After all, there must be a reason that you devote your life to the strenuous cycles of school. Find that motivation, keep it in front of you, and stare it dead in the eye. If you are looking for fame, put fake medals on your table. If greatness is the dream, Google pictures of Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa, and stick them on your wall. If money is what you seek, frame a hundred dollar bill and stick it up on your wall (this one’s quite hard to do).

  1.  Stress Relief

To avoid random bouts of frustration and the occasional tears, find yourself an activity or hobby that relieves stress. After a day filled with quizzes, piles of homework, and a billion staircases to climb, it is understandable that you may feel stressed. Find an activity that lowers this stress and allows you to get back to your schedule. You could watch a funny video, throw a few punches (hopefully not at a person), or even stare at a picture of Professor Snape (he will scare all your stress away).

  1.  Prepare for the Worst

Don’t walk into the school expecting rainbows, unicorns, and sunshine. Pretend, actually, as if you are about to walk into the depths of hell. You will find, with this technique, that you won’t ever be disappointed. Be a pessimist and expect the worst. This way, when your math teacher announces a pop quiz, you can be happy that it isn’t a tornado instead. CAUTION: Some may regard you with a sense of incredulity and suspicion for your happiness.

  1.  Have Fun

We know that you are probably tired of hearing this optimistic phrase time after time. After all, it is hard to find fun when you are laden with worries of marks and extracurriculars. You have to remember, though, that high school is an experience you will likely reminisce about for the rest of your life. Make the boring drawls of everyday life seem exciting. Laugh with your friends, get to know different people, and most importantly–enjoy your classes. There is nothing more exciting in the world than learning about quadratic equations! So head out there and make some memories, because high school will be over before you know it.

As high school students, we all have moments when we are completely frazzled. But don’t let this get to you. Follow the advice listed above and you will likely make it out of high school sane.