Before every semester, I always get a rush of emotions. Sadness, because break is slowly coming to an end…. stress, because I am always overwhelmed at the beginning of the semester with the start of new classes and new professors…. relief, because I know the start of the semester marks one step closer to graduation and lastly, excited because I’m eager to learn more about what I’m studying and how I can apply those concepts to my future career field.
I believe that everyone goes through some of these emotions when it comes to the first day of class or moving back on campus, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing! It’s ok to feel a certain type of way when going back to your school routine, having to study and going to class. I tend to get stressed out really quickly, especially if I’m not implementing ways to help me stay on top of things. So, I wanted to share with you the steps that I take in order to help relieve my stress and ultimately lead to a stress-free semester!
Buy a planner. Buy a planner. Buy a planner. Buy a planner.
I cannot stress this enough… you need to have a planner if you are a college student. Unless you belong to that small percentage of people who can memorize every due date and stay on top of assignments without keeping track, you need to have a way that you can write out everything that you need to accomplish every week. The first way to tackle stress is to write things out and having a visual of assignments, appointments, or your work schedule can help you to feel more organized and not all over the place. Planners are an investment in the success of your semester. The planner that I’m currently using is from Altar’D State but Target and Walmart have a huge selection! If you like technology over having a physical book to carry around, there are tons of apps out there that you can plug in your assignments and key dates that you need to keep track of. The app that I would suggest is Pocket Schedule Planner. This app allows you to organize courses, classes, and exams, manage assignments, and keeps you alert. You can even set notifications to remind you to do your homework or study for a test that is coming up.
Limit technology usage.
I will be the first to admit that I have a problem with social media. I’m always checking my phone, tweeting, posting on Instagram, sharing a new story on Snapchat. During the summer, I allow myself to spend more time on it because I know that I don’t really have any obligations other than work. But, when the school year rolls around, I have to make it a priority to limit not only my social media use, but also my use of technology. Your phone can be the biggest distraction when it comes to getting work done, and sometimes your laptop can be too! (don’t even get me started on Youtube 🙂 ….) With the new iOS 12 coming out this fall, you can track how long you are on your phone, set app limits, and schedule downtime. I would suggest utilizing this to the fullest because you can get reminders that you have been on your phone for too long, or have been on social media for over whatever set time you have. (I have mine set at one hour a day but I still manage to go over) Even with these app limits, you can still bypass the setting but it’s a good reminder to be aware of how much time you’re spending on social media. If you don’t want to wait for iOS 12 to be released to the public, you can join the Public Beta Program to gain access early. If you are a Macbook user, put your computer on Do Not Disturb so that you limit all notifications coming to your laptop including your messages and social media.
One of the most important things that your body needs in order to reenergize is rest. Make sure that you are sleeping at least 8 hours every night and try to go to sleep before midnight! It’s been scientifically proven that the sleep you get before midnight is most crucial to helping get the most effective sleep cycle. Also, people who wake up earlier tend to get more things done throughout the day. Rest is crucial because when you are tired, your productivity decreases and it becomes harder to focus. Try and get into the routine of going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning. This is the best way to jump-start your day every morning. Also, if time permits you during the day, take a short nap to give you the small boost of energy that you may need. If you use the clock/alarm app on your phone to wake you up, you should be utilizing the Bedtime tab instead. This tool allows you to adjust which time you want to go to sleep and wake up every day. It also helps you to visually see how much sleep time you are getting every night. It will give you a reminder 15 minutes before your set time to go to sleep and let you know the time you need to be going to bed in order to reach your set number of hours. This setting also automatically puts your phone on Do Not Disturb to limit your notifications while you are asleep. Lastly, the alarm will gradually wake you up in the morning and not abruptly like the other settings do. The alarm sounds are also more soothing, which I like.
Relax & self-care.
It’s important to make sure that you are trying to make yourself as relaxed as possible during the week. It can be so easy to stress out and get overwhelmed by everything that you need to do, so make sure to set aside time for yourself to really wind down/relieve stress. Something that I love about my apple watch is that it reminds me throughout the day to breathe, and it takes me through a cycle of breathing exercises to help relax me and refocus my thoughts. I also make time throughout the week to catch up on TV shows (if you haven’t watched the OA on Netflix, exit out of this post and start the first episode 🙂 ), play video games (I recently started playing Minecraft again and the music alone for that game is enough relaxation I need [I may or may not be listening to it while I write this post]), and read books (I’m currently reading Rich Dad Poor Dad and reevaluating my entire finances but that’s for another post lol). These are the specific ways that I have chosen that can help me to get away from my schoolwork/responsibilities and give me one thing to focus on during the time that I set aside for it. Make sure that you are socializing and keeping in touch with your friends too. Its ok to go out one night during the week, or get dinner with someone you like… the key is to keep things fun! If you are only focusing on your schoolwork/your job, this can lead to burn out early on. But, also know when to say no. If you are behind on your work, or have a big test to study for, you shouldn’t be going out or hanging out with your friends (unless you are going to the library together/making time to study). Pick one or two fun things to do during the week or weekend that lets you escape from your schoolwork. Lastly, one of the biggest ways that I implement self-care by having a set nighttime routine that I do every night. This consists of reading, doing my devotions, praying, listening to music etc. Everyone is different so you need to figure out which things could help you to wind down and get ready to go to sleep.
Finally…. THE GIVEAWAY!!
Hopefully, you didn’t just click on this post and scroll all the way down to see how you can enter into the giveaway… If you did, please go back and read this post! I promise it will help you in at least one way… Anyways, I’m giving out NBA2k19 to one of my lucky followers! I figured that since this game has not been released and some haven’t preordered it, it would be the best choice for the giveaway. All you have to do is click this link and fill out the form for which system you want the game for (PS4 or Xbox One) and enter your information and you’re all set! You can get bonus entries for following me on Twitter, retweeting one of my tweets, and daily bonus entries every day! There is no limit on how many entries you do, so the more you get, the higher your chances are. The deadline to enter the giveaway is August 26th at 9:00 PM EST.