Speech from the Head Prefect
Good morning, principal, teachers and friends. First of all, I would like to welcome all the new students who have joined residential school and hope you are enjoying your new life here. As it may be the first time you are away from home, I am sure you are feeling the stress of this new life, especially managing things all by yourself. Therefore, I am taking this opportunity to give you a few tips on how to keep your stress in check and how to relax when things get to be too much. At any given point in time, most students are stressed about something. But don't worry — it is just part of going to residential school where you have to be independent and cope with things on your own.
While having stress in your life is normal and often unavoidable, being stressed is something you can control. There are several things you can do to overcome this. First of all, make sure you get enough sleep. Your sleep schedule is, most likely far from ideal now, so getting more sleep can help your mind refocus, recharge and re¬balance. This can mean a quick nap before study hours, a night when you go to bed early, or a promise to yourself to stick with a regular sleep schedule. Sometimes, one good night's sleep can be all you need to feel charged and energetic once again.
At the same time, you should eat healthy foods. Just like your sleep habits, your eating habits too, may have changed when you came here, especially as you have to follow a new schedule and a new diet. Think back on what and when you had eaten over the past few days. You may think your stress is psychological, but it could just be physical stress if you are not fuelling your body appropriately. So, on outing days, get something balanced and healthy: fruit and vegetables, whole grains and protein. Starting your day with breakfast is necessary — don't ever go to class on an empty stomach. That spells trouble and illness! Studies were conducted in which students were asked to perform tasks after either having eaten or not eaten breakfast. Much evidence pointed out to improvements in learning and memory, and general well-being.
Next, get some exercise. You may think that if you don't have the time to sleep and eat properly, you definitely don't have the time to exercise. However, don't worry about this. You have extra¬curricular activities and games where you can let off your steam and lessen stress. If needs be, you can go for a relaxing 30-minute walk while listening to your favourite music and even take a power nap during rest time. I assure you, you will definitely feel much better. And during weekends, you can play games with your friends.
Another thing is to cultivate friends — socialise and have some fun. If you have been working on some projects or coursework for 3 straight days, then you could be extremely stressed because you are focusing too much on getting things done. Don't forget that your brain is like a muscle, and even that needs a break every once in a while! So have fun with your friends — play games with them, crack jokes or watch a movie on television with them. You will be building the social side of your character that will help you when you leave school.
Fellow students, learn to relax yourselves. The body's natural antidote to stress is called the relaxation response. It's your body's opposite of stress and it creates a sense of well-being and calm. Ensure you stay relaxed by incorporating time into your schedule for activities that are calming and pleasurable: reading a good book or making time for a hobby.