Every semester reminds me of the typical winter storm that jumps out in the fall. It begins slowly until eventually a mild South Jersey blizzard shows up unannounced and you find yourself white-out blind, walking through the two feet of snow to class. Like a blizzard, getting into the groove of classes is an easy start. Once mid-semester hits, around the end of October, the projects, readings and homework comes in full force. Emotions weave through the never-ending assignments leading to inordinate amounts of stress.
Stress walks on a thin line in my mind and can have me tilting and falling off the wire by the simplest bit of information. I’ve got three assignments due this week and a knot forms in my stomach whenever the thought emerges.
I used to put all my energy into finishing school work that wasn’t due for weeks or even months. Being ahead of the game made me relieved, contrary to the feeling it gave me throughout. I’ve learned to take it day by day and to refrain from putting an entire month’s worth of work into one week. The end might give a sigh of relief, but the stress level to get there doesn’t justify it.
Additionally, relieving as much stress as the schedule allows will leave a clear mind. If a project is due in 10 days and an essay is due in five, focus on the essay first (unless the project carries more weight and should have been worked on for weeks prior). Prioritize the assignments and focus on one before working on another.
What I stressed about three years ago is nowhere near what I stress about now. A tough general education class isn’t important compared to my unknown post-college future. I’m sure what gives me stress three years from now could be more significant than just college assignments. Knowing that the inevitable happens like building blocks, I found a better way of containing my stress from exploding on everyone around me.
Finding little activities to release stress is important, or you just might lash out on your best friend for something so trivial. Everyone is different in terms of finding what helps destress. However, deep breaths, listening to music, exercising or staying in communication with loved ones are few of the several options.
Sadly, stress doesn’t end with college or once you land a job. It continues when you do things like decide to have a family. It’s one of the dreadful aspects that looms over us unless we take control of it and push it away.
Before you go trekking through the blizzard that college throws at you, suit up and embrace the experience, you’ve only got so much time.
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