Learning to manage stress in college

This is college, and we’re all here struggling. And with that struggle comes difficult weeks.
Some weeks are more difficult than others.
There will be weeks that Friday is the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s a very small light and the tunnel is crowded with tests and papers.
Even small assignments, when put in large quantities with back-to-back deadlines, can prove to be large bringers of stress.
I just finished a week where, starting Tuesday, I had a paper due each day and a test in the middle.
This gave me mass amounts of stress. The longest of the papers was only five pages, but it was the overall quantities of papers that sent my brain reeling.
I felt I had done this to myself. And I was only making it worse for myself, dooming me twofold.
Procrastination did me in.
I am no stranger to procrastination. I can’t think of many big assignments I haven’t procrastinated on in some way through all four years I’ve been at Gannon University, and that probably stands for my time in high school and before that.
Every time I have a week like this, I realize procrastinating and pushing things off did not do anything but hurt me. I think I’ll change my ways, and I never do.
I probably won’t change my ways. Maybe I’ll tackle Thesis a bit better — but as there was a paper I had due that week that was a large factor of that stress, it seems pretty unlikely.
Looking to stop procrastinating entirely is impractical, but I could at least limit it and keep focusing myself.
But procrastination wasn’t my only undoing for that week. I was more focused on the total than taking one paper on at a time.
In my head, I made myself a focus on which paper to focus on first and what paper second. I would study for a bit and then take a break by writing a paper.
If I followed this, I would make it through the tunnel OK.
But if I didn’t force myself to focus on the next paper, I just saw the mountain of schoolwork I had, and it was a large, stress-inducing mountain.
I didn’t get anything done that way.
All this stress also brought the reminder that this was self-inflicted. As a senior in my final semester, I had almost all of my credits completed, but I still decided to take a load of 18 credits. This was entirely unnecessary, especially as I took on extra hours at work, have an internship to complete and am writing my thesis. I didn’t have to challenge myself that way. I made it through, though.
All my papers were turned in on time and I kicked test butt. And the moment I turned in that last paper, I felt so much better.
I felt great actually, like a weight was lifted off my chest and like I didn’t have as much to do over the weekend.
Here I am, in the next week, and I’m relatively stress-free. I had to go through that last week to get here. I wouldn’t necessarily say it was worth it, but it wasn’t not worth it.
I’m not about to change my procrastinating and anxiety inducing tendencies, but I have learned I can get through it.
Though, when I get to another week like that one, I might not be looking at it as positively as I am now.

ALEXA ROGERS
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