There are only a few weeks of the semester left, and I have entered into full-fledged panic mode. My reading week was not exactly as productive as I had hoped. I’ve had insomnia, which prevented me from getting up in the morning and caused me to be pretty exhausted through out the day – making it really difficult for me to focus on work. I did try to get as much done as possible, but I am still behind in a lot of things.
It doesn’t help that every week from now to the end of the semester I have tests, deadlines, and quizzes I have to prepare for. I made an attempt to plan out my week today, but had to stop because I realized I was trying to fit too much in. Despite this, rather than avoiding work or giving up, I always try to focus on strategies that can help me out and reduce some of my stress. Here are a few strategies I use when I am stressed about school:
- Prioritize. Figure out what absolutely needs to get done first, and if there is anything that can wait, put that on the backburner for now.
- Use available resources to help you. Universities often have academic centres that can help you organize your timetable and give you tips on time management, procrastination, and test taking.
- Schedule breaks! Working every second of every day is draining, so it is always a good idea to get up and stretch, walk around, listen to some music, or grab a snack.
- Get some help from your classmates. You can ask one of your classmates to email you notes or divide readings between you two to alleviate some of your workload. Or you can set up a Facebook page where everyone contributes either a lecture or a reading for each week that can be compiled into one document and shared with everyone.
- Get into a normal sleep routine. The less sleep I get, the more frazzled and unfocused I am during the day. It can be good to set a cut-off time for school work – maybe you’ll aim to stop working by 10pm. That way, even if you have trouble falling asleep, going to bed early will allow you to sleep longer and wake up earlier to continue any work you might have.
- If things are getting really out of control, talk to your registrar’s office. If you are really struggling they are a good resource to check in with when you are not able to cope or are having a personal problem.
Now, I am guilty of not following my own advice. Obviously there are times when you are so focused on what you are doing it seems better to avoid taking breaks or it may seem better to stay up later to finish something, and sometimes if you feel like you really need to then it’s okay. But while there is a lot to think about and do over the next few weeks, I try to remind myself to take everything one day at a time. I can only do so much in one day and all I can do is my best.
Here are some resources from my university’s website that have helped me a lot with managing time and stress. I hope they’re just as helpful to you too
Ayesha is a fourth year student at the University of Toronto, majoring in Psychology and completing a double minor in Cinema Studies and Sociology. She enjoys watercolor painting, fantasy fiction, and crime dramas. She was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Depression and Social Anxiety.