Ask Will: Dealing with an Overwhelming To-Do List


Artwork by Mia Schroeder

Will AB Smith, Opinion Editor

2020. What a year, huh? With all of the crazy things going on mental health has been at an all-time low for students everywhere. Many people don’t know how to – or feel like they can’t – reach out and ask for help. Unfortunately, mental health can be a taboo subject for a lot of parents and teachers. But as a fellow student, I am here to help! Like a lot of you readers, I’ve had trouble in these stressful times, and before that, but we’re not here to talk about me. These columns, at least for now, are a safe space where you can ask shameless questions and get truthful answers. I don’t like to sugarcoat, but I am here to help. So let’s conquer this new year together!

Q: “I have piles of work in my To-Do list. It’s overwhelming, but I don’t know how or who to ask for help.”

As the semester comes to a close, I’m sure a lot of us are trapped in similar situations. Here’s what you really need to do. Make sure there are no 0s (zeros) in your classes. Bad grades suck, but 0s are so much worse. Even if you bomb something, get a grade on that board. That is the most important thing.

Go through your workload, and see what assignments are worth the most points. Oftentimes there will be loads of graded work, but only a few assignments really change your overall grade. Assessments, quizzes, and projects are among the most important. Power School is a basically mandatory source, where you can find all of your work, your current grades, and where each assignment stands in terms of points. Get the ones worth the most done first, they will bring your grade up the fastest. And a lot of the time there’s way less work to do than it seemed.

Parents are tricky, and I can’t speak on that, but teachers are reliable. We have amazing teachers working with us this year, and they care about you. No matter how messed up your view on school is, there will always be teachers who are willing to help you. Adults have troubles too, and as tough as it is to accept, they do understand. Believe me, as someone who had some faculty trust issues, it is so very important to connect with your teachers. They want to help you. Email them, call them, go to their Flex or Office Hours. They will tell you what you need to get done, and how you can do it. If you’re really doing your best, they’ll understand.

Talk to your counselors. It is quite literally their job to help you. Especially here at Crofton, counselors will not judge you, even in the slightest. They will do their best to help, but only if you let them. Our counselors look past gender, age, sexuality, home space, and grades to help you become your best self. They are able to talk to your teachers and parents, but if you tell them not to then they won’t. They will do whatever they can to help you; with grades, with mental health, with home issues. Your counselors are people you can trust, it’s what they’re here for.

Schoolwork is important, no doubt, but I’ve found that mental health can have an enormous impact and should be prioritized. Please do not hesitate to contact your teacher, counselors, and/or parents. But if all else fails, and you have a burning question in need of an answer, it is as I said before. This is a safe space, feel free to ask anything, and you may remain anonymous if you so choose. Remember to do your best out there, be kind, stay healthy, and have a good day.