Coming into Fall 2019, my second to last semester of college, I have started to realize that there are a lot of things that I needed to know long before now. Although I wish I had been told sooner, I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to explore who I am and what I want to make of my life. I have been confused and I have been sure, I have been depressed and I have been at my happiest. All of these discoveries and revelations have led me to write this list of four things that everyone should know before their senior year.
1. Take Your GEP's In Five's.
Although I don't know how much I would have liked to have another class on top of Astronomy - which made me want to pull my hair out - or have to worry about a class other than Professional Speaking - which made my palms sweat and my mouth go dry - I think I would have been much happier taking my "general" classes in a larger group than have to have my final two semesters of college be packed with twelve novels and an internship and three exams and too many classes.
2. Do Your Homework in a Common Area.
I'm very guilty of this. I'm writing this article in my bedroom, right now. However, I do know that it is much better for your mental health to do your homework or any type of writing or research that is associated with work or school outside of your bedroom. Studies have shown that creating a mesh between where school and rest meet will cause your brain to disassociate from knowing that your bedroom is a place distracted from stress. I have started a schedule to have all of my homework completed at my dining table, my lounge area, or at my desk in order to make my brain aware that my bed is my place of rest. I really do wish I was taught this, or reinforced it, at the beginning of college but it's never too late to start bettering your mental health!
3. WORK AHEAD.
It is so easy to distract yourself and procrastinate doing your homework or responsibilities. I can't say much. I've been putting off doing my laundry for a week. I do know that I am much happier and less overwhelmed when I have my homework completed and my bedroom tidied earlier than I expected - even if it is only a day. Having your responsibilities taken care of and homework completed ahead of the due date is so much easier for your brain to process - whereas stress can be extremely overwhelming and distract you from everything that you have to do, altogether. Onboard with this idea, I have started (or am trying to start) reading two of the novels for one of my classes before the semester starts. Hopefully, I will feel less overwhelmed in the semester. I'll keep you updated.
4. Use Off Days to Spend Time With Friends.
It is so easy to get caught up in whatever you're doing - or not doing. It is really easy to leave everything until the very last minute, and be stuck inside your bedroom for two days trying to meet the deadlines and reach every requirement that is expected of a class or yourself. However, it is so important to have time away from the stresses of college and work and yourself. Having one day a week, if you can't have the weekend, to spend time with your friends, or to step away from the computer and everything that your work entails, to have quality time destressing your brain is really important. Getting into new hobbies is really helpful to encourage this! Since early July, I have been trying to paint and taken an interest in painting because it is a really great distraction from stress - and although I'm not that good, it is enjoyable and fun to do by myself or with friends.
Have a look at all of these and try to see if one applies to you. Maybe you can use one of my suggestions.
It might really help you!
Wishing you all the best in Fall 2019.