Column: 5 steps to manage schoolwork, protect mental health

Writer gives insight on tips to balance out assignments


Erica Deutsch

This final quarter of the year can be the most workload heavy for some. Major grades and studying for exams can cause many to become very overwhelmed. The graphic above shows the balance between homework and mental health which according to writer Erica Deutsch, is extremely important to establish during the most stressful portion of the year. Below are some tips to guide that balance.

The last quarter of the school year can be the most stressful for some students. Intense homework loads, studying for AP exams and getting last-minute assignments in to boost grades can cause people to feel overwhelmed. Here are some tips to help you navigate how much time you spend on your homework, how to do it effectively and how to prioritize time for yourself.

1. Start a planner

Updating your planner weekly with assignments that are due and upcoming events is super helpful to get you organized. It allows you to see everything you need to do for the week, so you can figure out how much time you will spend studying for tests and completing assignments.

2. Create a schedule

It’s beneficial to write out how much time you predict you will need to complete an assignment or study. Once you are done, look back and see if it took a longer or shorter time to complete it. If it took faster for you to finish, good job! If you took longer, reflect and figure out what made it take you so long and what you can do next time to complete it faster. Checking off everything that you’ve completed for the week and looking back at it at the end of the week can leave you feeling accomplished that you achieved everything or most of what you needed to. If you weren’t able to accomplish anything or as much as you would have liked to, check out the next step.

3. Avoid perfection

For me personally, I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to school work. This can be a bad thing because it can take me longer to complete homework and assignments. Sometimes it is okay to not go above and beyond on every single assignment and to just do what is required, if you have loads of homework to complete and are feeling overwhelmed. Trying to strive for perfection on every assignment will overwhelm you and burn you out. Although you shouldn’t do the bare minimum on every assignment, it is important to give yourself a break every once in a while.

4. Prioritize friends and family

It is extremely important to spend time with your family and good friends. When you make an effort to hang out with loved ones it shows how much you really care about them. I have sometimes been so overwhelmed in homework that it has caused me to not be able to be with my family, like missing out on my brother’s baseball or basketball games. At the end of the day it is important to have fun and create exciting memories with friends and family, to overall benefit your health by designating time to spend with them.

5. Exercise

Making time every day, or even a few times a week, to take a walk, go on a run, or go to the gym can really benefit your health. It not only improves your health, but gives you something else to do other than homework and gets your mind off all of the school work you have. After going for a run or working out at the gym, you can feel accomplished and good about yourself. Taking a walk around your neighborhood or a park can be relaxing and can overall improve your well being. It’s even fun to walk your dog if you have one and take a friend or family member with you.