Sometimes school is a dementor.
All dark and dreary and soul-sucky.
Unfortunately, you can’t even conjure up a patronus. (Though there’s no shame in trying. Give that pencil a swish and let me know if it works out for you.)
Us poor muggles just have to trudge through and take it. I mean yeah, you’ve made it to November, (Congrats on that by the way, I know it wasn’t easy bro.) but you still have a whole month left before the semester is done and I don’t know…… eternity? before you graduate. You’ve got papers to write, and speeches, and group projects, and presentations, and quizzes, and tests, and you definitely just referenced something you learned in your ed psych. class in normal conversation. “Well actually, according to Piaget…”
What the what?
You’re pretty sure you’re losing your mind.
1. Get A Planner.
If you do not have a planner and you’re overwhelmed- GO GET ONE NOW. If you do have a planner but it’s at the bottom of your stack of books with the price tag still on it, GET IT OUT AND USE IT. For real. You’re not in high school anymore homie, very few professors are going to consistently remind you about assignment due dates and if you forget and fail- whatevs, they see kids come and go all the time. That means you have to be ready to take on the responsibility of remembering everything yourself. Do yourself a favor and write down deadlines as you hear about them. You’ll feel a lot more sane if you can see exactly what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.
Summary: Get and Use a Planner: You’ll know what’s due and when.
2. Just Do Your Homework.
I know that this time of the semester especially, I put things off until I have homework backed up for miles. So you slacked- dude you’re in college, that’s what we do- but don’t let it slide past the due date. Sit down and make yourself do it. No Facebook, no Pinterest, and definitely no YouTube cat videos. You don’t have that kind of time. When your friend texts you and says “Dude! Mad rager at the frat house tonight!” Text back a polite “Maybe next time man, I have an essay due.” Just sit down and do it, you’ll feel a million times less stressed if it’s done and you can turn something good in. Remember that you’re at school to get a degree, and they don’t give you one of those if you don’t do the work.
Shocking, I know.
Summary: Make Yourself Do Your Homework: Getting it over with will make you feel better and keep you from panicking later.
3. Go to Sleep.
Chances are, you don’t get enough sleep. Wanna know how I know? Cause you’re a student.
You’re going to have nights where you stay up late studying or where you’re up until one in the morning writing a paper- but here’s what’s funny about sleep- you have to do it or your body CANNOT function. Weird how that works right?
If you’re having a busy week, skip staying out until two in the morning and just freakin go to bed. If you know you have a class you need to be at at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow, then common sense says that staying up until dawn is not a good idea.
Summary: Go to Sleep: You can’t get anything productive done when you’re out-of-your-mind tired. Just go to bed!
4. Work Out.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m stressed I don’t want to do ANYTHING, much less bust out my running shorts. But we should do it anyway. Working out will help make you healthier, happier, and less stressed. I’m not suggesting you spend hours at the gym. Just go for a walk, go to a spin class, do SOMETHING. My friend and I are taking a Zumba class on campus for free during weeknights and both of us feel so much better after. You’ll feel productive, you’ll be doing something for YOU, and you’ll have much more energy in the long run.
Summary: Work Out: It’ll help relieve tension and you can battle that freshman 15 that followed you to junior year.
5. Don’t Eat Junk.
I’m a girl, so I know that chocolate seems like the perfect cure to a rough day. And if you’re not into chocolate, some ice cream or something soaked in grease will also suffice, right? Wrong. Because you and I both know that once you decide that eating something awful for you will fix your day, you’re just subjecting yourself to hours of guilt later. And then you feel gross. So your mood is worse. And then your mind is like “Remember 10 minutes ago when you ate that bag of chips and for a second we were so happy? Let’s do that again.” So you do.
And the vicious cycle goes into full swing.
Don’t get me wrong, chocolate is good stuff and not necessarily meant to be sworn off for good. BUT if you’re eating it to feel better…..Just don’t do it. Eat something healthier. Make yourself a salad, or a sandwich, or better yet, fajitas. Are fajitas EVER a bad idea? No. No they are not. And you won’t want to hide under your blankets in shame for eating them.
You’ll feel better, you’ll have more energy, and you won’t feel guilty.
Summary: Don’t eat junk: You’ll feel better and have more energy if you skip fried and coated with sugar and eat something good for you.
6. Find a New Perspective and Just Breathe.
It’s not just about being stressed out with school work, am I right? Being stressed out can make you feel like you’re in a rut.
Remind yourself that it’s okay that you have no freaking idea what you’re doing sometimes.
Remind yourself that the things you’re worried about right now, aren’t the most important things that will happen in your life. Even the worst case scenario wouldn’t be the end of the world.
(Yes, the sun WILL rise tomorrow despite the fact that you failed your math quiz. And you ARE going to be okay.)
Remind yourself that this time in your life only lasts a few years and when it’s over, you’re going to miss it.
Life won’t look like this forever. In fact, I bet for a few weeks in December in January, things will look completely different.
Just do the best you can TODAY.
And if you don’t like the way things look, change something. Your path is not set in stone.
Summary: Find a New Perspective: Find a way to see your situation in a new, positive light.
7. Do Something You Love.
If you feel like you’re being drained by all of these stressful things you don’t enjoy, then you should spend some time doing things that you DO enjoy. Pretty logical if you ask me.
Does playing basketball make you happy? Do it.
Does running a sewing machine make you happy? Do it.
For me- reading makes me happy. So I should do it.
Whatever your beliefs are, I absolutely would encourage you to practice the things that bring you peace. Whether that’s just by being in nature, or through prayer, or scripture study, whatever it is.
You can’t always subtract, never add, and still break even. You know?
Summary: Feed your soul. Remember that it needs to be nourished too.
What do/did YOU do to keep your sanity in school? Anything you’d add to the list? Let me know!
We can make it to break! I believe in us!
“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.” -J.K. Rowling
Even the dementors can’t argue with that.