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Academics overwhelm every teenager at some point. Lower Homework Stress With Better Habits. Image is of a Chalkboard with "School" written on it. Image courtesy of luigi diamanti at
Academics overwhelm every teenager at some point.
Image courtesy of luigi diamanti at

Why Have Better Study Habits? To Lower Homework Stress!

Hi Teenagers, better study habits equals reduced homework stress! Who doesn’t want lower homework stress?

Are you completely burned out and sick of forever doing homework?  Does it seem like a never-ending pile of pointless worksheets, essays, math problems, projects and labs?  How I remember those days!  Sometimes I had so much homework that I spent an entire Sunday just trying to catch up.  On really, really bad days I remember staying up until I crashed, and then waking myself up at 3 or 4am to work on it again before going to school.  Yuck!

The good news is if you work hard now, it pays dividends later.  Once you finish school and have a job, you generally get to do your work at work.  Home is for just being home.  This isn’t always true as there are lots of jobs that require some extra stuff to be done at home, but for the most part you’re workday ends when you leave work.

However, being that you’re probably at least a few years of high school and several years of college away from no more homework, let’s talk about some things to do now to ease the burden.  This information was given to me by a friend who tutors AP Physics students, and teaches at the high school level.

4 Tips For Lowering School Stress

1. Take the appropriate classes:  

Challenge yourself and do your best.  However, you don’t have to take every possibly AP class that’s ever been offered. For some of you, this raises your stress to a level where you don’t perform. Some of these classes assign so much homework that you come to hate them. It is important to learn that sometimes lower homework stress can equal better quality work.

Besides, even if you’re trying to get into a top notch university, that doesn’t guarantee your future success.  What college you attend doesn’t actually mean very much a few years out of school.  As a result, don’t over-focus on this.  What is important is how well you do at whatever college you do attend.  You will need to get to know the professors, and collaborate with one or two of them on projects and studies.  This makes you a stand-out whether you attend community college or Harvard.  So, for now, take classes that get you where you want to go, but stop there.  Know your limits.  There is more to life than just academic success.

2. Work while your working:  

Part of the reason adults don’t have homework is because they work while they’re at work.  When you sit down to do homework, focus on getting your work done.  If you don’t allow your mind to wander, phone to distract you, or TV to entertain you, you really do get things done A LOT faster.  You can probably read a page out of your history book each minute or two if you are really reading it.  Also, you will absorb more of it so you won’t have to study as hard later.

3. Work smarter: 

So many students don’t know how to study efficiently.  It’s important to study what you don’t know, and just browse over what you do know.  Skim read when you can, and read in depth when you need to.

4.  Study regularly:  

Cramming doesn’t work.  It also inhibits your sleep.  You perform better if you’re well rested.

This resource from UNC is excellent for learning how to study effectively in college. Thankfully, you don’t have to wait! Many of these ideas and techniques can help you now!

From the perspective of a therapist, following my friend’s advice can really help you reduce your stress.  I want nothing more than for you to live a life you can enjoy, while still learning how to work hard.  I want to see you mature into an adult who can withstand some pressure, but doesn’t create extra pressure because of bad work habits.  School is an opportunity to learn how to work smart, and manage stress.

Helping teens grow and families improve connection,

Lauren Goodman, MS, MFT