The Good, Bad and Ugly— How to survive the Mental March Madness


Jihoo Yoon

WHIRLPOOL OF WORRY: A student screams in terror as she spirals down the swirls of academic stress.

Jihoo Yoon, A&E Editor

Ah, March. It’s the month of “spring,” (we’ll ignore the fact that it “snowed” a few weeks ago), and we are in another sort of March Madness—the academic kind. Students are crying over tests and projects while, behind the scenes, teachers are shedding tears at all the material they have to grade. To top it off, school has been going on for weeks without a long weekend. Feeling stressed? Overwhelmed? You’re certainly not alone. There’s a reason why this article was posted so late…BUT unimportant details aside, Take a look at the Hower’s Good, Bad and Ugly ways to respond to the Mental March Madness.

Dear Howler, I feel overwhelmed. I have a gazillion projects and three tests in one day, and I have a ping pong tournament and a math competition and… well, you get the point. How can I manage all these things while getting more than two minutes of sleep?

What is going on,

Wanto Sleapp

Good: Have you been writing in your planner?  Visualizing your schedule can be quite helpful. If you’re forgetful, perhaps make use of the alarm clock on your phone. Prioritize which tasks you should do, and stick with them; should you be scrolling TikTok, or should you be studying for the team test? And most importantly, treat yourself as a human being, not a machine. It is better to get a full night of sleep rather than pull three all-nighters before a test. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Nobody is perfect, and one (or two) bad grades WILL NOT end you. 

Bad: Work as if your life depends on it. Who needs sunlight when you can have good grades? Compensate the lack of vitamin D through the blue light from the computer screen while speedrunning Delta Math instead. Immerse yourself into the world of Times New Roman and MLA formats and don’t you DARE look up from that paper. 

Ugly: Honestly, just give up. Why deal with your problems when you can run away from them? Push away your tasks until you have to do it last minute, *COUGH* like this article *COUGH*. If you want to take it a notch further, become one with the coyotes and dance around the avocado trees that surround the Northwood campus. Students will envy you for experiencing the true freedom that they will never feel.

Dear Howler, I’m lost. I’m just lost. Help.


Imin Paine

Good: You have your answer already: help. Ask for help. Take advantage of the time you have. We don’t have any “weird” schedules for four consecutive weeks, which means that tutorials will be mostly predictable. Take time to consider what subject you need help with, and when you would want to visit these classes. If you’re intimidated by talking to teachers, peer tutoring, which is available in the Media Center during seventh and eighth period, is another excellent option. There are many people who are more than willing to help you, it’s just a matter of reaching out. 

Bad: Can’t exactly pinpoint what question to ask the teacher? Need a break in the middle of class? Suffer in silence. Tough it out. Everyone’s going through with it, so you should be able to follow through too. Follow a certain icy queen’s motto: conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know. 

Ugly: Move your teachers to sympathy by crying your eyes out. At least your skin will be moistened with your snot and tears. If that doesn’t work, CRY HARDER. Perhaps if you sob hard enough, you can flood the school and classes will be canceled for everyone. Not only will you be a Northwood legend, you’ll also truly be doing something heroic for the good of the pack. 

P.S. The Howler staff has a couple of tests they want to miss out on as well, so if you’re sticking with this plan, start leaking those tears ASAP. 

Dear Howler, After weeks of school without a single long weekend, I am losing motivation. There is just no end to all these homework and assignments, and… I just don’t want to do it. 

Hava Pathee

Good: Remember that you are halfway MORE THAN HALFWAY through the month. You’ve got this! Social media is a slippery slope when it comes to balancing motivation because in a single click, you think you can run away from your problems (speaking from personal experience here– spoiler alert, it doesn’t work). Remember what you need to get done. Trust me, the whole process will be a lot faster without distractions, and then you can treat yourself to a nice break at the end of the day. If you need consistent motivation, reward yourself in small ways! Did you finish your math homework? Allow yourself to take a walk. Finished typing up an essay? Have a snack. These things might be little, but they help you motivate yourself to finish whatever you are doing. 

Bad: Just do the bare minimum. Need to paint something? Just paint a dot and call it a day. Technically, you’re mimicking a minimalistic style. A History DBQ? Write a word (or two, if you can stretch yourself). Simplicity and consciousness is key in delivering a message. After all, according to the wise words of Confucious, “D is for ‘did something.’”

Ugly: Have an extra early and extra long spring break. Or even better, disappear until finals are over. Maybe if you go away for long enough, the school might forget about your existence.