I have met so many hard working students. I have met college students who are working full time and taking four classes. I have met students who are taking 4 AP classes and working part time. I meet students who are doing a variety of things in addition to their school work load such as volunteering or helping out at home.

I met a student who was a junior in high school, volunteering at a local library, participating in a school club, and about to begin an internship with MOSH. Oh and just applied for a part time job. Her question was, ‘What else can I do to stand out on my college applications?’ My response: Nothing! Take some time for yourself!

Students are under too much pressure to get good grades, high scores on the SAT and ACT, and go to college or university. So many students don’t know what they want to study. They haven’t been given the proper experiences to help them explore their aptitudes and passions.

The young girl mentioned above, like most students has been pressured to go to college or university by everyone around her for almost her whole life. Unfortunately, no one has talked to her about how to handle this type of pressure and the importance of taking time for herself. She is overwhelmed with anxiety and stress. What will happen if she doesn’t learn how to manage stress?

CASEL Recently released a study that showed a survey of high school students as well as those who had already graduated and entered the workforce or college. The study showed that high school students felt they were being prepared for the future versus those that had graduated and moved on felt they were not so well prepared.

Students need opportunities to learn how to manage stress. They need opportunities to explore their aptitudes and passions so they can study areas of interest and get into career fields where they will be successful. I know engineering is popular but we shouldn’t force someone to major in it just because there’s good paying jobs available. I know people with good paying jobs that are unhappy and wish they were doing something else.

There is more to preparing our students for a happy and successful life than good grades and high SAT scores. This summer, encourage students you know to have some fun and take time for themselves. They deserve it.

Melanie Black is a trained Academic Life Coach and mindfulness educator. She is passionate about helping others and learning all she can in the process. With over twelve years of experience in the field of education, she is determined to help students succeed in school and life. “ One of my goals is to continue to be a humanitarian who helps our local community. I am passionate about my relentless pursuit of knowledge and desire to help others.“