Written by Kristen Davis. Media by Thomas Hajny.
Do you feel stressed? Are you overwhelmed with the amount of projects building up in your life? Do you find yourself questioning why you even decided to go to college in the first place? Don’t worry! You are not alone! The “honeymoon” phase of the semester has passed. We are now in the “red zone”, as I like to call it, and there’s no turning back. So where do you go from here?
As cliché as it may sound, my first piece of advice is to remember that although the stress is piling on, you are still blessed! Think about it…you are attending a private, Christian college. You are working towards earning a degree. Most people in our world are not given the option or cannot afford to attend college. You have a roof over your head. You have food provided in the Dining Commons daily (whether it tastes good or not is up for discussion, but let’s save that for another article…). You have the ability to communicate with your professors quickly, but ultimately, you have been given an amazing opportunity to make a difference in this community and discover and develop your strengths.
Alright, enough with the deep, motivational speaking. Let’s think practically! How can you survive the rest of the semester?
Step 1: Don’t underestimate the power of communicating with your professors. I can’t tell you how many times I have had 3-4 projects due on the same day, and I have had to e-mail one of my professor’s and say “there is absolutely no way I am capable of getting this 15 page paper done by tomorrow because I have a 10 minute presentation, a speech, and a thesis due tomorrow as well and I’ve been working on all of these for a long time. I’m closer to dropping out than you think. Can I have an extra day or, at least, an extension until midnight?” Professors can and will surprise you. They do have hearts. They do care about you! And contrary to popular belief, they want you to succeed! I know….it’s a mind blowing thought. I am not guaranteeing that they will give you an extension, but the fact that they see you making an effort to communicate with them will say a lot about how seriously you view their course.
Step 2: Don’t procrastinate. Yes, you heard me. DON’T PROCRASTINATE! It isn’t worth it! You will regret it. It will stress you out even more than you already are. Set up an agenda for how to accomplish all of your tasks for the month. If you know you have a project due, work on it at least a week before it’s due. Yes, I sound like your professor. Yes, the advice is true. I understand you probably will not listen to it, but I need to tell you because I hope someday to say “I told you so.”
Step 3: Make time for friends and more importantly, make time for God. That’s super cheesy, I know. But these are times that you will want to remember for the rest of your life. A wise friend of mine once said, “you’re going to remember the days that you skipped class and went on an adventure with your friend.” Don’t skip class (saying this for the sake of the professors reading this). However, stay up late sometimes. Work on homework with people. Go to McDonald’s at 2am and don’t do your assignment until the next day. Developing friendships is just as important, if not more important, than the 5 page paper you have due the next day. You can spend 30 minutes at the union with a friend and then start your paper!
Basically, don’t lose sight of how blessed you are throughout the chaos and stress that is entering into your life. You’re gonna be okay. We will survive this! Christmas break is coming soon! So say a prayer, do your homework, and don’t forget to breathe and sleep. You’re welcome.