Deadlines, essays, exams, studying – this is the time of year when demands upon students are highest, and it can be STRESSFUL! It’s not uncommon for a student’s November schedule to have several essays due one after another, with a couple of mid-terms sprinkled here and there. It can be extremely overwhelming, and if you’re not used to coping with it responsibly it can have a negative effect on your health, happiness, and grades.
This is the time that separates the amateurs from the pros, and I know you’re no amateur! Think about it: you’re reading a student life blog! You’re obviously engaged in your education and willing to do what it takes to be a good student. Here’s your time to rise to the challenge. But how to deal with all this stress?
First, the U of L provides great resources for students who are feeling over-stressed. Here’s a great write-up about how best to approach stress, and I don’t think I could have said it better myself: http://www.uleth.ca/counselling/stories/im-stressed-how-can-i-handle-it-all. That link also has a list of upcoming events that students can take part in to help manage their stress – everything from meditation to stress workshops with free pizza.
Another thing to think about: With course selections coming up, now’s the time to think about what kind of course load you think you can handle next semester. Will you be up for a full five classes again, or was it too stressful this semester? Are you ready to go to the next level with some 2000 level courses? If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you’ll know that I’m an advocate of the three or four-course semester because of how it reduces potential for stress overload. But you have to consider whether that will mean graduating later or making up for lost time with summer courses. See my post on Summer Session for more information: http://blogs.ulethbridge.ca/james-forbes/2011/06/11/summer-session-whats-it-all-about/.
Also, can I just say this? Don’t take it too seriously. I’ve heard of people who had such high expectations for themselves at university that they ended up having a mental breakdown. Remember, you’re in first year – you have lots of time to make mistakes, learn from them, and improve. It’s not worth your health to stress out too much. Take advantage of the resources that the university provides, find a healthy coping mechanism (ideas in the first link above), and take care of business!