Top 13 of 2013: What Mentally Strong Students Avoid

Ellen Kan and Tommy Lunn

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






As 2013 draws to a close, winter break ushers in the halfway point for the school year. Students of every grade have faced difficulties throughout the year, whether it is the freshman learning to adapt to Jefferson’s rigorous curriculum, the sophomore tackling Advanced Placement (AP) courses for the first time, the junior struggling with WebAssign or the senior handling college applications.

Under this kind of mounting pressure, it is all too easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and cave under the stress. To help with lightening the load and seeing things from a different perspective, we asked students to share some of the tactics they use for maintaining mental strength in hard times. Below is a list of 13 things that Jefferson students avoid in order to stay mentally strong. These tips range from practical advice for day-to-day activities to suggestions for a change in attitude toward long-term goals.

Our inspiration for this list comes from Forbes Magazine, for which Cheryl Conner wrote an article titled “Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid.” Conner in turn was inspired by Amy Morin’s list, “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do,” which appeared in LifeHack.

____________________________________________________________________________

Junior Alec Jessar

Junior Alec Jessar

1.  I do not get caught up in external stress from others about academic assessments and grades.

“Stress from others is contagious, and if you eliminate that anxiety and focus on yourself, you are a much more secure individual. By refusing to lose sight of the big picture, I keep all stress in perspective and find meaning in what I do. The stresses of high school are temporary, and high school really serves as a place for intellectual and social development, not a place that defines who you are for the rest of your life.”

____________________________________________________________________________

Priya

Senior Priya Shankar

2.  I do not get down over things that are not worth it.

“For seniors who are applying to colleges, it’s important to stay positive and be supportive of others. Just because one college does not accept you doesn’t mean you are worse off. College is a place for learning and making life experiences, and you will find the best fit for you. Just keep swimming!”

____________________________________________________________________________

Junior Monique Mezher

Junior Monique Mezher

3.  I do not let my “what if”s get in the way of my “if I could”s.

“I believe that unless you give all of your effort to what is important to you, you will never fully know what you are capable of. Too many times in life do people give up because the chance of accomplishing something is small and they have too much on their plate. If someone has any chance at all, he or she should go for it. In my opinion, without facing the fear of failure, one never gets to feel the enormous satisfaction of success.”

____________________________________________________________________________

Freshman Kristin Myers

Freshman Kristin Myers

4.  I do not let other people lead me away from what I believe is right.

“It is important to be intrinsically motivated and determined to fight for what you believe in.  If you want to see change in this world for the better, you need to believe and be strong in your beliefs. Be headstrong and confident, decide on what you want to see happen and devote yourself to it. Reflect often but have your eyes focused on the future. Celebrate what you achieve and crave more.”

____________________________________________________________________________

Senior Carolyn Ours

Senior Carolyn Ours

5.  I do not compare myself to the people around me.

“At TJ, everyone around me can seem brilliant. But when you think about it, most people are really good at one or two things, but no one is the master of all of them. Every person has something unique that no one else can bring. If I compared myself to TJ kids, I would feel completely inadequate – it’s better just to focus on being the best me I can be.”

____________________________________________________________________________

Freshman Anshu Sharma

Freshman Anshu Sharma

6.  I do not procrastinate or put off work unnecessarily.

“At TJ, the work keeps on coming and never stops. As described by my science teacher, Ms. Holman, it’s like standing in a ring of fire. Douse the fire closest to you, but don’t ignore the ones in the distance. If you don’t learn to manage the flames effectively, you will be swamped one day. I’ve found that sports are absolutely great for time management because they encourage you to use your remaining time very effectively.”

____________________________________________________________________________

Senior Hannah Pho

Senior Hannah Pho

7.  I do not let myself feel like a victim.

“During junior year, I felt constantly bombarded by schoolwork and personal issues.  Realizing that I wasn’t a helpless victim but rather a capable person with choice over my actions stopped me from wallowing in despair all year. Remember that this too shall pass, even if it feels like it won’t.”

____________________________________________________________________________

Freshman Peter Zhao

Freshman Peter Zhao

8.  I do not think things over too much.

“We have to do so much thinking at TJ, and overthinking can cause insanity or mental breakdown. Even as a freshman, I can feel the struggle that my peers face, and I just tell them that this is merely a small part of your life, and if you stress too much, you might miss the bigger picture. Look to the future when all is lost.”

____________________________________________________________________________

Senior Sara Felsen
Senior Sara Felsen

9.  I do not classify myself as exclusively strong or exclusively weak.

“Everyone has good days and bad days. Just because you have a terrible week where everything feels out of your control doesn’t mean that you’ll never be strong, and just because you’ve had an excellent week doesn’t mean you’ll feel awful in a few days. I’d rather spend time working through my bad moments than tallying them on a smart-or-weak chart. Don’t be afraid of asking for help if you need it, and express your emotions somehow on a regular basis instead of letting them fester. It’s easier to let a stream flow than to dam it and risk a flood.

____________________________________________________________________________

Freshman Samuel Liu

Freshman Samuel Liu

10.  I do not always think about what’s bothering me in life.

“I try to keep my mind off stressful things when I don’t need to worry about them. If you always think about how stressful your life is, your time at TJ will be extremely difficult because you keep reminding yourself how horrible things are, when they really aren’t. Find something you can do if you are stressed, preferably something you like.”

____________________________________________________________________________

Junior Heather Lukas

Junior Heather Lukas

 11.  I do not go into a test feeling nervous or insecure.

“I think that how you feel about a test is a good prediction as to how you will do on a test. If you go into a test feeling confident, you will most likely be successful. It’s sort of like an ego boost so that you don’t psych yourself out while taking the test. In anything that you do, you have to believe in yourself.”

____________________________________________________________________________

Senior Rachel Zoll

Senior Rachel Zoll

12.  I do not commiserate about anything.

“Most people at TJ complain about schoolwork, commute time, sleep deprivation and just about everything in between. I’ve found that by putting my schoolwork in the perspective of the big picture rather than the short-term goal of pleasing others, I can better myself as an individual in the long run. In almost every situation, you should remain vigilant in reminding yourself that the effort you put in will be proportional to what you get out of it. Don’t let your friends or peers discourage you in any way.”

____________________________________________________________________________

Junior Sonia Jindal
Junior Sonia Jindal

13.  I do not resent other people’s success.

“I don’t allow myself to be jealous of other people’s success. It’s not a healthy thing to do, and I know that resenting somebody else is not going to make my life any better. I’d rather just be happy for my peers and work towards my own achievements.”

____________________________________________________________________________

Print Friendly, PDF & Email