I am not going to lie: being a college student has been one of the most difficult parts of my life. Though I have learned a great deal and would not trade my experience for anything, this one fact remains: college life is stressful.
Between several extra-curricular activities, going to class, writing multiple papers on a fairly regular basis, finding time for family/friends, I find myself to be spread thin a lot. My first few years of college were the most difficult, but there are times when I still find myself stressed. The question remains, however, what is it exactly that stresses me out? For me, the bulk of my stress occurs when I find myself bombarded with multiple tasks that have a similar deadline.
For whatever reason and every year, I have at least three classes that have the same deadline for major assignments. It has taken me nearly three years to figure out effective solutions as well as coping strategies for this specific stress inducing activity. First of all, I am in the process of learning how NOT to procrastinate. This is one of the most difficult habits to break in my opinion because it is easy to get distracted and sidetracked with more entertaining things like my favorite television shows or movies. I have punished myself enough with the consequences of procrastination. I do my best to sit down, get to work and leave playtime for later. I have significantly less stress when I utilize the aforementioned method effectively.
Of course, there are other things that stress me out that are not academically or school-related. One major source for me stems from planning various events, especially when it involves a group of people. Getting everyone to first agree on something to do, the time and day to do it, and transportation can be seriously tricky and, unfortunately, a lot of times I am left to plan because people know my dirty secret: I am incredibly organized as well as controlling (when I say controlling, I mean it in terms of not trusting other people to have competency to plan or come through on their end).
Even though I enjoy planning and organizing, I still stress myself out about it at the same time. I have learned through practice as well as the trial and error method that it is best to plan things ahead of time. Another method that helps relieve stress for me in this particular case is to send the same, mass texts to everyone involved who is planning on hanging out and doing something. Everyone gets the same exact message and, thus, everyone is on the same page. I also assign people to do certain things like drive or go buy whatever needs to be bought (it seems silly for a simple night out, but it works).
I still get stressed at times and small things have a way of tipping me over the edge, but I have learned some useful coping mechanisms and life has become easier because of it. I know we are all stressed out by different situations and we all cope in different ways, but academics is most likely one area where a lot of people can find common ground. Moreover, procrastination is one behavior that a lot of people tend to exhibit so take my advice: force yourself to sit down, be productive and get something done, especially if you have multiple assignments due on or around the same time. Planning and forcing yourself to get to work will make a world of difference in your stress level.
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