These past couple of weeks have been a lot. I, just like the majority of my peers, have felt stress at some point. Whether it be because a huge research paper is due, a huge exam, or even because your grades are not where it should be, everyone is feeling something right now. As the semester has gone on, I've gained knowledge of some coping mechanisms you can use when things just get a bit much. Here they are.
Sometimes you just have to turn in for the night. All nighters are not for everyone, as I've learned that they are definitely not for me. If you find yourself spacing out and not focusing then what is the use of staying up anyway. Set an alarm for five in the morning and get up and finish the work. It's better to think on a well rested mind than a sleep deprived mind that is barely thinking at all.
2. Take A Walk
I remember the week I had a very huge paper due. As I was working on it, I discovered that my focus was just not there. I was beginning to become extremely frustrated. So what did my friend suggest we do? Take a walk. Depending on the size of your campus you may have to choose which route you take, but this being Spelman College I was able to walk around my campus twice. The fresh air really helped to calm me down. This is something I definitely recommend.
3. Blast Music
One of the things I absolutely love about living in a freshman dorm is that it's barely ever quiet. Someone on my hall is always blasting music. So whenever I am just fed up with work and I hear my song playing in the distance, best believe I hop up and go sing along. It may just be three minutes of fun but it's definitely something fun. My friends and I (only if we have a study room) even blast music in the library sometimes as a bit of a break. Put on some Beyonce, her newest album Lemonade definitely has some bangers.
4. Clean up/Organize
I have discovered that half of my stress comes from having a room I can barely walk in. In my short time at Spelman College, I've discovered that whenever I have a huge assignment due, midterms, or finals, my room becomes an absolute rec. So not only am I upset because I have so much to do, but I'm
5. Plan Out An Adventure
One of the things I adore about one of my friends Adesuwa Joseph is her sense of adventure. Whenever she needs a break, she goes out to find something new. In discussions with her about it, she says if you stay around what burns you out, you will continue to be unhappy. She loves new scenery and has never been friends with someone that likes to stay somewhere comfortably, and she likes to be able to explore. So any opportunity she has where she can take her work and also find happiness in her new environment, she takes it. You can also check out her Twitter account for motivation, that's also something I do when I am stressed.
6. Listen to Podcast
I absolutely love podcast. From "This American Life," "Freakanomics Radio," to "Stuff Mom Never Told You," I love them all. The stories I often hear about in these podcast are what often inspire me to be great. Often I listen to episodes where it's about people who beat the odds to become something, to be better. If they can do it, so can I.
7. Don't Procrastinate
As much as I hate hearing this, this statement still rings true. Procrastination is almost always the cause of my stress. Although its easier said than done, really try and finish work the moment you get it. There will always be events on campus. Learn to miss out sometimes.
There is a poem by Miles Hodges and Carvens Lissaint entitled Strive. I have a slight obsession with their poetry group The Strivers Row so when I was informed about this spoken word piece, of course, I thought it was gold. The poem is essentially about pushing yourself even when it seems as though the whole world is crashing down. As a college student, often times academics piled on with a social life often becomes just too much. However, I often have to remind myself that ten years from now, all my hard work will pay off. It's college, these challenges were made to break you. Those who give up will never see the glory. So persevere.
9. Get Dressed
When you look good you feel good is a statement I firmly believe in.
Bottling up what is inside has never been healthy. I have learned this first hand. It's okay to talk to someone when you feel overwhelmed. It's when you bottle up everything that you began to start fighting other battles inside your head. It's unhealthy to go through that type of stress and sadness alone. There are a number of people you can talk to, your parents, your friends, counselors, a professor you trust, or even just putting pen to paper and writing it out. I know it's scary to admit that things might not be okay but it's better to talk about it now than have a breakdown later. Understand that you are not alone.
I understand that everyone does not believe in the same God I do, or any God at all. However, prayer is what keeps me up. I believe that God has a purpose for my life, but I cannot come into full fruition with that purpose if I try and do any and everything by myself. There is a quote by an unknown source that states "You can either lose God in the chaos or find him", and I admit I've often lost him. Prayer, however, always reconnects me. Pray about focus, pray about happiness, pray about purpose. For all my readers who believe, no matter which God, just pray.
Second semester hit hard for me. I was no longer in the transitional phase for college but now fully emerged. I myself had a lot of things I had to overcome this semester and as the school term is coming to a close I still have things to deal with. However, college is supposed to be some of the best years of your life. That is something I firmly believe that. So allowing the stress of college to steal my joy is just something I can't do. Years from now I'll look back and appreciate my experience. In fact, it'll be a testimony.