I’m coming up on the end of my semester, and oh boy has it been stressful. Most of this semester I was able to relax, get work done slowly, and manage the workload well. However, everything is coming to a close which means a bunch of last minute assignments, end-of-term projects, and all the stress that comes with it. I had a bit of a panicked weekend trying to figure out how in the world I was going to get all my work done, and I had a few tips and revelations that I thought I’d share here!
The first thing I did that helped tremendously was making a day-by-day breakdown of what work I was going to do when. I typically write in a planner to keep track of deadlines, but I realized that wasn’t going to cut it for these next couple of weeks. I needed to know what I had to do every day so I could stop worrying about getting the work done, and just focus on actually doing it. For every day from the time I made the schedule until my last final exam, I wrote down what I needed to do that day. Some days were for getting pieces of different assignments done, and others were focused on major projects that were coming up sooner than others. This has taken a big chunk of stress off of me! I feel like my energy can be spent on doing good work instead of worrying about what I should be doing.
I also gave myself a pep talk, and have been doing some little ones every morning. Managing anxiety while being a student can sometimes become very daunting, because there needs to be a balance between doing things for other people (homework, group projects, etc.) and continuing to practice whatever self-care you’ve been doing. I’ve been reminding myself that I am fully capable of getting my work done and finishing my semester strong, and that it’s okay if I put some other things to the side for the time being. I know that I’ll feel way worse if I don’t put my strongest effort into school than I will if I stop going to the gym for a week or don’t do as much fun stuff with my boyfriend (instead, I get to sit and do homework while listening to him play games online with is friends, and I’m jealous). It’s all about taking the time to realize what you need most in this moment, and prioritizing accordingly.
On a similar note, I realized that I’ve really made some positive changes over these past few months. I’ve had about a million things that I could be stressing over (friends, family, school, the world…oh gosh), and I’ve only been giving them the thoughts and time they require rather than letting myself worry and worry and worry. Sometimes when doing meditative exercises, I’d hear about letting your thoughts enter your mind, acknowledging them, and then sending them on their way. That’s something I’ve only ever been able to do when I’m listening to a relaxing British man tell me what to do (that sounds strange, but checkout Headspace and you’ll see what I mean). Lately though, I think I’ve actually been doing this on my own without even trying! That’s nuts!
Basically, life gets stressful sometimes. It can seem like everything is just one big ol’ mess and you have no idea how you’ll be able to sort it all out. I think everyone experiences this, and it can take some trial and error to figure out what coping methods work for you. Just know that it’s okay to take a step back, reflect, and cut some stuff out of your schedule for the time being in order to make room for what you need most. If anyone else is dealing with their semester wrapping up, I feel you! Or if you’re dealing with anything else that’s stressful, we’ve all been there. Just keep on keeping on, and you’ll get through it.