Take college one week at a time
As we trudged back into 8 a.m. classes, bleary eyed and out of normal habits from midterm break, we come to terms that the semester is half over already. Whether these past nine weeks passed fast or slow, we find ourselves having to get back into our normal habits. Before we know it, finals week will be upon us; motivation starts falling as classes, clubs, and jobs get busier, and our stress starts rising.
Especially in these next eight weeks, students will be finding bigger project deadlines coming up as well as their normal weekly assignments. It becomes more and more daunting as the days pass.
No matter your age or grade, this time of the year can take a huge toll on any of us. This point last year especially hurt for me. I found myself missing classes and putting less effort into my homework and my job at the time. There were some days that I couldn’t make myself get out of bed despite the responsibilities I had to my job, my clubs, and most of all, to myself.
The problem was that I let everything that I had going on affect me all at once. It took me until this semester, the beginning of my fifth year of college, to learn something that’s proven valuable to my mental well-being: take on your tasks as they come.
In the past, when I’ve had assignments due, I’d find myself worrying about projects that were due weeks later, which led to this cascade of stress that prevented me from doing the assignment due sooner, which then led to rushed work, worse grades, and an exhausted mind that made the process repeat itself.
Every week, I sit down in my pajamas and look at my schedule for the next week. I take note of when my classes are, when I need to work, and when my clubs meet. Then, I look up when my assignments for the week are due, including responsibilities I have for my clubs, and essentially schedule time to do everything within my normal schedule.
If you have a project due in a few weeks, you can even write in some time to do a small chunk of that in advance.
Additionally, make a point to schedule time to relax outside of my responsibilities; my solace comes from journaling, but yours can be anything you’d like, be it watching an episode or two of a new show, drawing, reading, or whatever you can imagine. Looking at the week broken down by the day, with distinct responsibilities and definite time to relax each day, keeps my anxiety at bay.
Trying to cram everything in at once because a due date slipped your mind ultimately causes more stress than necessary. Procrastination will be your worst enemy in college, but taking things one week at a time will make even large tasks less scary.
Take the time to plan out your days so that your nights can be fun and your mind can be relaxed.