This past week, I finished my third semester of film school *cheers*! Since I am in an accelerated program, I start my fourth semester next Monday *tears* (just kidding, I love my school). I think most of us can agree that school can be very stressful at times. For me, this semester, in particular, was a little extra stressful for various personal reasons. However, because I have gotten better at managing my stress, I still managed to make it a successful semester! With most of us starting school around this time, I thought that now would be a great time to share with you all some of the ways I keep stress at bay when I’m in school.
1. GET A PLANNER
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a planner, you could do just as well with iCal or setting reminders on your phone etc. Whatever you use, it needs to help you keep everything in order. I tend to be a very busy student with class work, extracurricular activities, my job outside of school, etc. It can be hard to stay on top all of my goals and due dates for each of these things if they are just floating around in my head. That’s where the planner comes in.
As soon as I know about a new due date or I have a new goal, I write it down in my planner. This way I know I’ll remember about it and the due date won’t surprise me. Once I got my planner, I felt so much better about how I was handling school. It really helped me to end the semester on a high note.
One thing that I love to do is get rid of the things I don’t need. I do this all through out the semester, but especially at the end. I get rid of (I mean recycle, of course) unwanted papers, sell books I won’t need anymore, delete files, etc. I believe that our immediate surroundings are a direct reflection of our inner being. If your surroundings are cluttered and unorganized, you’re more likely to feel stressed out and unfocused. Take some time to really go through everything and get rid of the stuff you don’t need. Trust me, you will feel so much better doing this one little thing.
3. SAY “NO”
If you are like me and you like to stay busy, you can tend to have a great deal on your plate. While I think that staying busy with something that you’re passionate about is a great thing, it can also get out of hand very quickly.
I’m the kind of person who likes to give 100% to everything I do, and if I can’t give something the time it deserves, I won’t do it. Doing this has saved me from countless hours of stressing over this semester, and many semesters prior. Before you commit to something, take a second to ask yourself this, “ Will I be able to commit to this fully and be a benefit to this project?” If the answer is no, I would suggest not doing it. You’ll save yourself and the others involved so much undue stress.
4. WRITE IT OUT
I have loved journalling since I was a kid. My love for it has been rekindled over the last few months because I find it so therapeutic. We all have rough days, that’s no secret, and sometimes just writing everything out can really help to put everything into perspective and clear your mind. Plus for me, it’s always a pleasure to reread my old entries and see how much I have grown. I like to journal at the end of the day because it helps me to fall asleep, but journaling can be helpful at any time of the day.
5. PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE
I had a huge problem with procrastination and getting distracted when trying to get something done when I was in high school. Getting distracted lead me to be stressed out about the time I didn’t have to finish my work. Thankfully, I figured out how to manage my distractions and here is how: My biggest distraction was Youtube, so I installed an app on my web browser that wouldn’t let me access that site until after 5pm. At first, it was tough, but then I got used to it. Now, years later, I don’t need it because I know how to keep myself from getting distracted.
My advice to you is to put your phone on silent, a do not disturb setting, turn it off completely, install site blockers etc. etc, but make sure that you do all that you can eliminate distractions while you’re trying to work. It will keep your mind clearer and you’ll be less stressed.
Put simply, keep doing the things that you love to do! If you’re really into sports, take some time to play a game with friends. If you love to dance (like me) take a dance class every once in a while. Don’t forget about the things that make you, you! They are important and can help to keep you on track with your goals. Whatever it is that you like to do, do it whenever you get the chance. You’ll thank yourself later.
7. ASK FOR HELP
Something that I wish I had done in my first few semesters of college, is asked for help from my professors. I would usually wait until the last minute to do an assignment and then realize that I had questions about the guidelines. I created so much unnecessary stress for myself by doing this. I would suggest looking at whatever rubric you are given before you start working on your project, and reach out before it’s too late. If for some reason you’re not given a rubric, start a rough draft of the assignment and see what questions arise as a result.
Also, go to office hours! Any good professor wants to see their students succeed. If you’re having trouble in a subject, make sure to take time to talk it out with your professor. You’ll end up much more confident about the subject and your professor will appreciate that you’re a serious student.
8. HAVE FUN!
This is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s still very important! Amidst your busy schedule, remember to take time to just chill out. Hang with friends, watch Netflix, go to a movie, dance, go rollerblading etc.! Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed and doing things that make you smile will help you clear your mind and make you a better student. Balance is key to a successful school year, so balancing hard work with a well-deserved break, is never a bad idea.
Alright, friends! I hope you found this post informative and helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below. I wish you all an amazing semester.