December 12, 2020
Dear Students in Grades 7-8 (and Parents),
In preparation for next week’s exams, prioritizing your mental and emotional wellness is extremely important. If you find yourself stressed about upcoming exams, you are NOT alone.
Here’s the thing, you are incredibly resilient! Think about everything you’ve overcome so far this school year: COVID, adjusting to a new schedule (more than once), adjusting to a new grade, changes with friends and social circles, all of the craziness going on in the world, and all of the stuff that comes with being a pre-teen and teenager. That’s a whole lot of stuff!
Even in the midst of all of the craziness, you STILL rocked out this first half of the school year! That same level of resilience will get you through your midterm exams. Trust your greatness.
Make sure you take care of yourself during your exam preparation process. Here are some ways that you and your parents can prioritize your mental and emotional wellness in preparing for next week’s midterm exams:
  • Rest up! It’s never a good look to be sleep-deprived. Kids your age should be getting between 8-10 hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation (or not getting enough rest) can negatively impact your memory and attention. Getting the sleep and rest you need can help you think more clearly and promote your mental health. You can’t expect to do well on your exams if you aren’t getting the rest you need. That would be like driving a car on an empty tank. Try to create a study schedule that will allow you to get the sleep and rest you need. Staying up past midnight to study is not cool. Also, get off your phone and TikTok and go to bed.

  • Take study breaks. Make sure you take breaks during your study time to give your eyes, brain and body a rest. Get up for 10, 15 or even 20 minutes to get your circulation going. Grab a healthy snack, get some fresh air, dance in the middle of your room, WHATEVER… get up and do something.

  • Nutrition is key. Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast on exam days and continue to practice good nutrition every day. This will keep you healthy and energized.

  • Power of positive thinking! Stress can be GOOD. It can give you the push you need to get through some of life’s toughest challenges. Don’t allow “brain bullies” to stress you out about taking your exams. Brain bullies are negative thoughts that can make you expect the worst about stuff. So, instead of thinking, “I’m gonna totally bomb my midterms and do awful,” flip the script by telling yourself, “I’m gonna prepare and do the best I can on my exams and be proud of myself for trying.” Tell those brain bullies “bye.”

  • 1, 2, 3, BREATHE. If your stress starts to get out of control, BREATHE. Take a moment, slowly inhale for 4-5 seconds and exhale for 7-8 seconds. Breathing is a great way to reset your mind and get calm. You can do this while studying or taking your exams.

  • Balance! Schedule time to study AND chill. Balance is extremely important and helps reduce unhealthy “bad” stress levels. Make sure to spend healthy time with your family, friends and participating in healthy activities.

  • We’ve got your back. You have a bunch of teachers, learning specialists and counselors who care about you a lot! Anytime you feel stressed or overwhelmed, you can hit me up (Mrs. DeCree) or your teachers and advisors. We want to support you in every way possible. Never be ashamed to seek help. That’s why we are here.

  • You GOT this! Don’t focus on failure! Focus on how phenomenal you are. Regardless of the outcome of your exams, YOU are AWESOME! PERIOD.
Here are some other resources that can help you promote your mental health and wellness as you prepare for exams:

Remember to prioritize your wellness and study responsibly. Good luck on your exams! We are here for you and are incredibly proud of your hard work and effort so far.
Middle School Counselor