Now that Spring Break is over we have reached the home stretch of the semester! While it is exciting that the end is in sight, the light at the end of the tunnel may be clouded by all the work that has yet to be done. We know that this can be a stressful time so the Writing Center is here to help!
We are here at the Writing Center to help you at any stage of the writing process. Whether you are don’t understand the prompt of your assignment, you need help honing in on your topic, or you want another opinion for your final draft, we are here to help!
Beyond our ability to help you confidently complete the assignments to come, we are also students ourselves who experience the weight of stress during this part of the semester. From us to you, here are a few of our favorite methods for avoiding and conquering academic anxiety:
I always try to develop a reward system for myself when I have a busy week. I plan out my schedule based on the tests and papers to come and make sure to block in time to relax if I meet my goals each day. For example, I might tell myself that after outlining a paper I can take a few minutes to mindlessly scroll through Pinterest. My reward system keeps me motivated to finish—just remember if you try this strategy to set limits on your reward time!
Additionally, be sure to stay physically active when you’re busy. While I feel tempted to skip a track practice during a busy week, I remind myself that the endorphin rush I get after running will help me stay energized through a night of work!
I get especially stressed out on Mondays when I look at all of the things that I have to accomplish during the week. It can be so intimidating, especially at the end of the semester! Instead of freaking out and pulling all nighters, I make a lot of lists. I will make a list for each day and for the entire week. That way I can see exactly what I need to do and it doesn’t seem so bad anymore. Time management is key in controlling stress. Plus, if you get enough sleep, everything is so much easier to do.
When I have a ton of work that I need to do, I have to get out of my room to focus and get it done. One of my favorite places to go is the common room of Blanche. It’s nice for when you don’t want to walk to the library alone at night, but it is far enough from my room where I can get in the zone to write a paper.
When I get stressed out, my tendency is to shut down and not accomplish anything because the amount of stuff I have to do is so overwhelming. I’ve learned that shutting down doesn’t actually help anything though, so I try to accomplish small things first just so I feel like making progress.
Writing a comprehensive to do list is usually my first step; this helps me get everything out of my head. When my obligations are on paper instead of swirling around in my mind, everything usually looks far more manageable. Then, I prioritize and do small things like cleaning my room or doing laundry or sending emails first, just so I can have the satisfaction of crossing items off my list. Then, I move on to larger tasks, making sure to give myself short breaks every hour or so.
The most important thing I can recommend, though, besides staying on top of things so you don’t get overwhelmed, is making sure to make time for yourself. You’ll never manage stress if you don’t let yourself have fun now and then. Hang out with friends, watch a TV show, go for a walk, or even take a nap- just as long as you get the chance to do something that isn’t work at least once a day.
I get stressed out nearly every day because the amount of responsibilities I have to my clubs and my classes. However, I can usually get rid of that stress by doing something really simple. I just listen to music. It can be any music, but, personally, I listen to movie soundtracks, electronic music, or good ole’ indie music. Listening to all of that helps me to calm down and lowers my heart rate, causing my stress to decrease.
If I listen to music while working on homework or a paper, it helps even more. Listening to music isolates you from the rest of the world and isolates you from all the stress that is in it as a result. So whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, just take a moment to put on your favorite song.
I get really stressed out during the month of April because there are a lot of different events going on that I have to prepare for on top of homework. To make sure that I get everything done, I make a to-do list, but I make a separate list for everything I’m involved in. I have one for my sorority, one for other clubs, and one for my homework. Using this, along with a wall calendar to know when events are happening, has really helped me stay on top of things this semester. Also, it feels really good to cross things off!
Some things that help me relax when I’m not crossing things off my to-do list, are listening to music (especially classical when I’m doing homework because then I can’t sing along), sitting in the sun (I’m very excited that it’s starting to feel like spring), and eating ice cream.
I tend to get stressed out more in the beginning of the week (usually due to a combination of awareness of how busy my schedule is on those first couple of days, and the perspective of the entire week looming ahead). My attempts to control and lessen the stress usually manifests itself in borderline obsessive-compulsive cleanliness in regards my room and desk. I find that I need a clean and organized physical space to operate within before I can clean and organize my mind and studies. Once that is established, then I make a comprehensive list of what I need to get done in order of priority, however I usually start with whatever I want to do the least just to make sure it gets the time and attention it deserves, and to get it out of the way.
I try (optimal word being “try”) to stay on top of things and get them out of the way so I can set aside some de-stressing time with an easy conscience. This can be anything from reading a book by a favorite author (I find that P.G. Wodehouse works wonders, as do the short stories of H.H. Munroe –a.k.a. Saki-), to watching a movie or T.V. show, or hanging out with friends.
To schedule an appointment in Health Services, call the Wellness Center at 410-857-2243. Health Services is located in the Wellness Center on the 2nd floor of Winslow Center. Business hours are Monday thru Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm. We make every effort to accommodate students with urgent matters.
Other Stress Solution Tips:
- For emergencies after hours, call the Department of Campus Safety, ext. 2202, or (410) 857-2202.
- Talk to your advisor
- SASS office on the first floor of academic hall can provide academic support and peer tutoring.
- Contact your professors or the department chair to ask about tutoring in your major.