Tips from The Counselor: Staying Focused & Healthy in Q4

Image provided by Alejandro Izurieta ’25

Grace’s High School Counselor, Julia Warren, is one of the community’s most integral support systems. 

She promotes student success and well-being, and is always there to help students navigate their academic journeys. With years of experience in counseling and her own experience in high school, Ms. Warren shared some tips that can significantly decrease students’ stress levels.

Efficient time management is key to balancing academic responsibilities and personal interests. Ms. Warren recommends against procrastinating. Rather, take intentional breaks. She suggests going out for an ice cream, watching a show, or doing anything that isn’t work-related so your brain can relax! 

Ms. Warren described how taking a break and procrastinating are two very different methods of pausing your schedule. Breaks enable you to maintain a good performance and prevent burnout. When you procrastinate, you constantly feel guilty about not doing your work. Taking a break is a tool to promote effectiveness and well-being, because it provides your brain with the opportunity to relax and recover.

Reaching out for support is essential when facing challenges or feeling overwhelmed. Students should never hesitate to consult their teachers, counselors, parents, and friends for guidance and assistance. If you are feeling particularly stressed, voice your feelings! 

Ms. Warren expressed that the best resource Grace has is its people. We are lucky enough to have a community filled with faculty and teachers who care about students and their wellbeing. Never be afraid to ask for help and advice; it is the best way to gain support and build a network of people who will help you in a time of need. 

Building positive connections with peers, teachers, and family members can significantly enhance emotional well-being. Avoid comparing yourself to your peers, Ms. Warren suggests, because we don’t know what someone else is going through. Instead, we should focus on ourselves and how we can improve our academic life, as well as seek opportunities to collaborate and support one another. 

Joining an affinity space, a club, or even having a quick talk with your friends can allow the quality of your day to go up. Ms. Warren says that the best way to improve your mental health is through connection. 

Ms. Warren acknowledged “how terrifying it can be to try something new, but finding connections to people and spaces is what is going to make you feel that sense of belonging everyone talks about.” 

Ms. Warren is renowned at Grace for being an exceptional source of support. She is a great listener, who meets students with keen understanding, stemming from her personal experiences in overcoming obstacles to make learning enjoyable. 

Ms. Warren shared how she “felt like school was easy for everyone, except me.” She continued:  “Because of this, I make an effort to meet students with a lot of empathy.”

Ms. Warren’s tips can help provide a solid foundation for academic success and personal growth. Implementing these strategies can help maintain balance and create a fulfilling educational experience.

Antonia Akuyeva ‘27 is a special contributor to The Grace Gazette and member of the Gazette Club.