Stress is something most students deal with, whether it stems from school, your personal life, or both. While a small, level of stress may motivate you to finish your assignments sooner and more efficiently, oftentimes stress can overwhelm us. For me at least, there are times every semester where it’s hard for me to concentrate on my studies because I’m so stressed out that my brain can’t think about anything else. The following are some of the ways that I stop my stress from overwhelming me to the point that I cannot study, as well as how I work on relaxing and letting go of what is stressing me.
Disclaimer: I’m not a therapist (obviously) so if you suffer from clinical depression, anxiety, etc. please see a licensed professional for advice on how to handle it. These tips are all based on my personal experience, but I am in no way suggesting that they will work for everyone. I understand that for some this post may not be helpful and that is ok. Again, I’m just sharing what I do, to deal with my stress, in the hopes that it may help someone else going through the same thing.
Tips for Handling Stress
Take a deep breath. Set yourself a timer and give yourself five minutes to feel sad, and complain about how much school sucks. When your timer’s finished, you have to move on. Get up, get yourself a glass of water (or coffee), and start working.
Make a list (in your head or on paper) of all the things that are stressing you out. Then go through each one, and either decide how you’re going to fix it, or come up with a statement that explains why you shouldn’t be stressed about it (this last one is for illogical stressors). So for example, my list might look like this:
I’m worried that I’ll get a bad grade on the paper I just submitted
I have a test in three days that I’m not prepared for
I’m worried that I won’t be able to meet all the deadlines for my study abroad app
Then I would come up with solutions. These might look something like this:
Since I already turned in the paper there is no point in worrying about the grade; it’s out of my hands now. But I can always take whatever corrections I get and apply them to the next essay.
I’ll make a study schedule for the next three days, and make sure to prioritize studying for this test.
I’ll set up a meeting with my study abroad advisor to go over all the deadlines I need to meet. Then, I’ll put them on my calendar so that I know when everything is due.
Take a walk outside. Listen to music with headphones while you’re doing it. Try not to think about school or anything else that may be stressing you out. Seriously walking and being outside helps so much; I went through a time where I was pretty depressed and taking like 10+ walks a day was the only thing keeping me going.
If you’re having trouble clearing your mind enough to do homework, listen to music while you’re studying. On days when I’m super stressed, I find that listening to music helps distract my brain from what I’m stressed about, which helps me focus on my assignments.
Do something relaxing to take your mind off of school for a little bit. I know a lot of us in the studyblr community (me included) get overwhelmed with homework, and then feel as if we have to spend every waking minute studying. This is not healthy, and if you’re super stressed it can be worth taking the time to breathe and do something, not school related, that makes you feel good. Make yourself some tea/hot chocolate, do a face mask, read a chapter of your favorite book, etc. Even if it’s only a short break, when you return to your studies you will be in a much better frame of mind to focus on them.
As much as it’s important to take breaks, we can’t avoid our assignments forever. But you can make your studies more enjoyable by creating a relaxing environment to study in. When I know I’m going to have to stay up late to finish my homework, I put my pjs on, make myself some hot chocolate (or coffee depending), light a candle, and turn on my fairy lights. It makes my room feel super cozy, and I don’t mind studying as much because I still feel relaxed. If your anxious about something, doing this can help you relax and thus increase your focus while doing homework.
Talk to someone close to you about what’s stressing you out. Even if they can’t necessarily do anything to help me, I find that voicing my frustrations out loud can make me feel better. At the very least this person can hopefully offer you some encouragement.
Practice positive self-talk. Remind yourself that you are capable of dealing with the things that are stressing you out. Tell yourself what a great person you are. Remind yourself of everything you have already accomplished. I know it sounds cheesy, but affirming yourself, and your abilities, even you don’t necessarily believe it at the moment, can over time help you feel better about yourself. Sometimes, I write positive statements on my mirror using whiteboard markers so that I can see them when I wake up, and remind myself to stay positive.
Another thing that helps me is reminding myself that in five years the thing that’s stressing me out won’t really matter in the long run. Employers five years from now aren’t going to care that I failed a class, no one will remember that embarrassing thing I did in five years, etc. This really helps me put things into perspective.
It sucks that school can have such a huge effect on our mental health, but there are ways to deal with it. The important thing is to realize that you’re stressed out and then figure out what steps you can take to help you feel better, and not let it take over your thoughts. Hopefully, this helps one of you if your struggling with letting go of your stress and with working while super stressed. And remember, my ask box is always open if you just need someone to talk to.
Sometimes people need to see or hear somebody stand up for them and tell their bullies to stop it. Bullying is very isolating, so seeing somebody take your side instead of the bullies' side can make a huge difference.
hey! that’s the way I’m studying the french grammar. i hate repeating and repeating the rules so i read a book and underline or circle the words and then write down the grammar rule. it will take a lot of time to read this book, but i know it will be useful!
This happened a few years ago, during my second year of college. Without going to much into which university it was, the buildings were old, really old, and I guess they liked to keep it looking like they were built in the 1800s. Anyways, I was spending the night in my boyfriend’s dorm since his roommate was away.
At some point in the night, I heard him get up, try to quietly walk out of the room, and heard the bathroom fan turn on. I closed my eyes and tried to fall back asleep, but before I knew it, the door to the room creaked open. I felt his weight press against the mattress, but I still heard the bathroom fan. So I whispered, “You left the fan on,” and opened my eyes, only to see something that was not him in the room. A dark figure, that was slouched against the bed, pressing its hands against the mattress stared back at me. I screamed and it went off the bed, and started crawling along the floor in a circle. I watched as it did, and it looked like a man in a suit.
My boyfriend then burst into the room and flicked on the light. I looked at him and back to where I last saw the crawling man, but the crawling man was gone. Nothing has explained what happened that night.
FYNK James: 8/10 That’s interesting. A spirit crawling along the ground. Thanks for sharing the scares!
Groot doesn’t act how you would expect because he’s an alien humanoid plant who can only say “I am Groot” due to his stiff, wooden larynx, so much of his communication is nonverbal. He is speaking, but his language is very hard to understand and only a few can really figure out what he’s saying.
He tried to eat my Tangle, so I showed him my chewable stim necklace and he rubbed his stomach like “yummy!” Then we hugged, I gave him a kiss on the cheek and we held hands before parting ways. He only ever said his trademark “I am Groot” to me, but understood what he said perfectly.
He accepted me as I was, he was happy to meet me and happy to learn from me. I learned from him, too. In the span of one minute, I felt like I had a conversation with Groot that was intense as an hour-long phone call with my friend Donny. ^_^
Btw, I said “We are Groot” to him before we parted ways, and he nodded very emphatically in agreement. :D
Don’t bully people who are different! You may miss out on an awesome friendship.
This is the story about campus free speech that keeps getting obscured. Black, queer and trans student protestors with legitimate grievances get reduced to caricatures of Social Justice Warriors while they, and those who support them, get threatened and belittled. Flagrantly racist trolls sling epithets online, respectable liberals wring their hands at the lack of civility, authorities dismiss the danger of the threats, and the school does nothing until it isn’t just black people being threatened. This experience had a chilling and silencing effect on many of Evergreen’s student protestors, but where is the concern about students’ right to speech being suppressed? Why don’t we hear the stories of people of color, and women, and trans people on campuses losing their platform and right to speak? I’ve spent over a year recovering from the trauma of becoming a lightning-rod for alt-right hatred and then being thrown under the bus by white liberal complacency. I was dismissed, disbelieved, and ultimately treated as though my anger in responding to racism was on par with the racism itself that I was trying to address. The backlash and condemnations that I received achieved their intended goal. I was largely silent about my experience for over a year, for fear of further recrimination. I’m now done being afraid of my anger.
Telling a child they won’t be bullied if they “get some resilience” is like telling them to grow six inches taller overnight. Autistic kids need support and friendship, not victim blaming. –Jeanette Purkis Autism Books and Other Things.
I am currently in this situation. So I’ve come up with a plan and thought I might as well share it with all of you too:
1. Most importantly, write an introduction. Why would you have to bother with an introduction? Because in the introduction you can explain the reason WHY what you’re studying is important. When you know why you’re doing it, you’re gonna see why it is important and you’ll feel like what you’re doing makes sense. Once you know this, it surely will be easier to learn because you’ll know what the goal is of the method/ subject you’re studying.
2. In case of emergency: learn the tips. Some professors give tips. Learn those first. It’s gonna save your ass, I guarantee you. It has saved me. If there are lots of tips, learn the ones that you know will count the most first.
3. Check those powerpoints. See I wrote ‘check’ and not learn from the powerpoints? It’s because you can learn from the powerpoints and not understand a shit about it. The powerpoints will serve as a guide for you to go check what you have to learn from the book. Learn from the book instead, because it follows a very systematic approach with an example. This way you avoid learning the entire book but still learn the important aspects discussed in the class.
4. Write a summary based on subject-definition-application-example. This is definitely a life-saver, I’ve talked many times about the systematical approach books have. And this is it. They introduce you a subject, they explain it to you, give you a model for you put it in practice and then they give you an example. At least I’m sure it is so in STEM and Business. I like to do a table like this below.
So in summary, write an introduction so you know why you’re learning. Secondly, start with the tips, this will guarantee you a higher score. If you finish on time go check the powerpoints to see the highlights of the class and search to learn the broader explanations of the book.
Confessions and Reflections of a Perpetual Freshman
A list of reasons why college didn’t work out for me on my
first attempt…or my second…or my third.
First attempt. Full time. Online. Age 19.
I took on way more than I could handle. I took on a full course load in addition to my other numerous responsibilities in a time when I was deeply struggling with my mental health. Know your limits. Sometimes less equals out to more in the long run.
I had my mom do all of the monotonous new student stuff for me. I ignored the warning sign that I clearly was not ready for college if I was not invested enough to do simple college related tasks such as applying, registering, and filling out my financial aid forms.
I was not prepared for the massive amount of self discipline that is required for online college students. Due to ineffective time management skills, I fell behind in all of my classes and eventually stopped attending all together.
I didn’t keep a planner and would constantly overlook assignments in my online classes.
Ineffective note taking and neglecting to complete the required reading.
I let other things take priority over my studies. Issues in my personal life always took the spotlight even if that meant neglecting my responsibilities to my school work.
My mindset was geared toward failure. I thought that I was a failure as a person. Therefore I failed at everything I tried to accomplish.
Second attempt. Full time. Classroom setting. Age 22.
I picked my major for the wrong reasons. I was not passionate about my chosen major, I picked it because it seemed practical. Therefore, I did not possess the drive or interest required to push me through to the end.
I repeated many of the same patterns that negatively influenced my first college attempt.
I got sick of having to get up and go to school every day in addition to my other responsibilities. I started showing up late and then eventually quit showing up all together.
While taking notes, I struggled to keep up with the instructor as they moved from topic to topic. I should have recorded my lectures.
Third attempt. Full time. Online. Age 24.
I picked my major out of practicality rather than passion only to realize that there were a limited number jobs in the field and I didn’t want any of them.
Bad time management.
I abandoned two of my classes so that I would be able to pull up my grades in the other two classes. Once again, taking on more than I could handle.
After my third failed attempt I took and an extended break. I realized I needed to get my shit together. I grew up a little bit and got my priorities straight. I made a well thought out plan and chose a major that I was excited about and catered to my skill set. Now I am back at age 29 and I am killing it! It is never too late to start over, but when you do, make sure that you are REALLY starting over and not just repeating the same old patterns.