Stress Management

Since I have just finished one of my most stressful weeks of school since being back, I feel what better thing to talk about than stress management. I had a total of 4 exams (not the final exams) and one major project that totaled for a ton of points that could greatly affect my grade in the past 5 school days, with an away over-night cross country meet in between. I got one exam out of the way before the meet, and the other 3, as well as the project, were back to back for Mon.-Wed. I was so worried heading into my weekend. How was I possibly going to balancing studying for 3 tests and complete a major project worth so many points? Especially with being gone Friday afternoon to late Saturday when I don’t study well on a bus.

Yes of course I’ve had many stressful weeks before this, but this was probably the first time I handled it in a more appropriate way. I brought all of my studying materials with me and tried my best to at least study somewhat on the bus ride. As soon as getting back, I began studying in the quiet of my room where I could actually focus and concentrate. I turned down going downtown Naperville with some teammates and going out to eat even though it was much more appealing than studying and believe me, it wasn’t an easy decision-but it was the right one.  I studied late that night, but not too late so I could get sleep which is better for retaining the information. For the most part, I divided what I studied with on priority, which was by order of the exams. However, I did make sure to complete the project in sections here and there in between my studying otherwise I would not have finished it when it was due since it was so time-consuming. Plus, the stress of knowing I’d have to finish it wouldn’t allow me to study with complete focus as I would have that nagging feeling in my mind to work on it. If it got really late and I felt panicked and as if I wasn’t absorbing any of the information, I would go to bed because it’s better for you to get rest versus missing out of sleep when you can’t comprehend anyways. I get up early once I felt more refreshed and then review the information. It typically goes better the second time around.

Another thing is to make sure you do the study guides first! I’ve made the mistake many times of trying to go over all of the slides and/or material for a class and never having time to completely do the study guide.  The study guide is available for a reason and will cover the information that will show up on the test-so put your focus on that.  Also, don’t panic and feel as though it is hopeless! You’re setting yourself up for failure if you do so. Take a deep breath and take it one step at a time. How are you suppose to focus while you’re studying if you’re already lacking the confidence to believe you are going to do well?

All in all, I survived this week and managed to study for all my tests and complete the project. Although I will admit, by the time I got to my last test it was difficult to continue studying. For this reason, I highly recommend taking breaks periodically. Trust me, it will make a huge difference. This being said, I hope you feel more prepared next time you’re faced with such a stressful week yourself!

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