How to cope with semester’s stresses

Published: October 23, 2015

Commentary by

CATHERINE BOMBARD

With Thanksgiving break right around the corner, the semester is quickly approaching its end. Unfortunately, as much as students wish with the workload was lighter, of course, it is just getting heavier. Around this time it is easy for students to find themselves overwhelmed, stressed and procrastinating. With that being said, I thought this would be a great opportunity to give some of my tips for beating that mid-semester blues.

Sometimes it is really easy to lose track of your schedule, so here’s one suggestion:

  • Keep a calendar!
    • I was not particularly a calendar person in high school, but last year I decided to keep one on my dorm desk with all due dates, activities and upcoming events. Calendars work as perfect reminders, visualizing what you have to do and showing when your busy weeks are so you can plan homework time accordingly. Not so sure if a calendar is worth the money? You don’t even need to buy one! If Microsoft Word is accessible to you, just print out a template or, if you own a Smartphone, use the calendar app.
  • Do not let assignments build up!
    • This sounds obvious, but you would be surprised to see how simple it is to forget about that presentation you were assigned last week or that paper due by Friday night. I have one friend who is always pushing himself to at least start an essay or project the day it is assigned. Writing one paragraph, composing a thesis, or putting together a few slides for that PowerPoint presentation will not only keep you on track, but leave you thankful you did that tiny bit when you go back to finish the project up.

My final tip regarding schoolwork, and I honestly believe this is one of the best tips I can give to a fellow student:

  • Find the physical place where you will be the most productive.
    • This could be almost anywhere! Whether it is the library, a dorm lounge, your desk or somewhere in an academic building on campus, it is all about finding the spot that gives you a balance between comfort and motivation.

While making sure your schoolwork is in check is undoubtedly one of the most vital aspects of college success, making sure you are keeping yourself happy is just as important. That means making a point to set aside relaxation time, or what I like to call “hobby time,” throughout the week. If all your energy and focus is aimed towards homework, exams and essays, I guarantee you will go crazy! Take a study break to grab coffee from Starbucks with your friends or cozy up in bed and end the night watching an episode of your favorite sitcom.

Sophomore Amanda Hurd agrees.

“It’s important to make time to do things you enjoy, because although it might not seem you have the time, it is actually so needed,” she said.

Looking for an even better way to escape the hustle and bustle of school? Join a club! Meeting two or three times a week with a group of peers who share similar interests is the perfect way to make new friends and feel productive in other ways besides academics.

I may only be in my second year at The University, but I truly believe the key to college success can be summed up in one word: balance! Although it is much, much, MUCH easier said than done, once you learn the tricks to achieving a balance between school, friends and extracurricular activities, you will find yourself less stressed, more productive and surprisingly calmer, especially during those seemingly deathly busy moments of the semester, like midterms and finals week.

Contact the writer: catherine.bombard@scranton.edu

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