If you are like me, you are a habitually stressed out. There is always something to be stressed about, and even if there weren't, you would find a way to be stressed about it. Alas, you are on vacation right now—winter break, girl! You have to stop stressing about something you can’t control. So, today on the blog I am going to give you my tips on how to stop stressing about next semester.
Make A List Of What Is Stressing You Out
I am all for creating a good list. This list is not the to-do kind, but a list of all the things that are stressing you out about next semester. Be honest and create a list of all the things. Writing this list will help you put your thoughts into the universe and rationally solve the problems you have.
Categorize your to-do list. What are you stressing about? Is it money? Is it passing your classes? Is it making friends/connections?
When you write down your stressors, you can attack them head-on. You can create an actual plan to attack those issues. Primarily, you can be rational about your stressors; you can take control over them (instead of letting them control you.)
Create a solution to each of the stressors that you have; then they should stress you out less.
Do not keep all your stressors in your head!
Think About How Far You Have Come
One thing that usually stressed me out the most in college was how tough each semester seemed to get over the next one. Obviously, the longer you are in college, the harder college gets—but it hasn’t stopped you yet.
Even if you are a freshman in college, think back to when you were a baby or a freshman in high school, how much have you accomplished since then?
School will get tougher, and you will get better at dealing with its toughness.
There is a popular saying, “Things don’t get better—we do.”
We get better and savvier at dealing with the things that life throws our way. We have never ceased to get better at dealing with life’s curveballs. The new semester will not stop us from getting better at dealing with life’s curveballs.
This new semester is not special. We will take the new semester in stride, we will take our time, and we will make this next semester our ish (just like we always do.)
Talk To Upperclassmen About The Courses You Are Taking
I understand that we still worry even if we know how far we have come. It’s time to bring out the talking session. Ask upperclassman for advice and information on the courses you will be taking next semester.
If you know of any people who have taken your professor before, definitely talk with them.
A lot of people may tell you to go to RateMyProfessors, and while I love that site, I have mixed feelings about it. Most people only post a RateMyProfessors rating if they have a really great or really poor view of the professor. You may not get the most average view of a professor there, not to mention the fact that the ratings are anonymous.
I always say that you never know how someone behaved in a class to get the score that they did (good or bad.) If you don’t know their study habits, what kind of learner they are, etc. it’s hard to judge the validity of an anonymous RateMyProfessors rating to how you will feel.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you will automatically be able to get a good feeling based on an upperclassman’s thoughts. Obviously, you may have different viewpoints on what makes a great professor—but with talking directly to the upperclassman, you can get a better view of what the professor is like (and of course, ask questions to get more detail.)
Take A School Email Break For The Year
School email is very stressful. It never seems to end, and there is always someone sending something, even after the semester is over. Unless you have to keep checking it due to a previous commitment, I would suggest that you take a break from your school email after the semester is done.
Delete or hide the email from your school account until January 2nd. Give yourself some time to breathe and get away from it all. Then once the New Year has come and past, you can get back on to keep updated before the start of the year.
Obviously, if you feel like you need to stay updated because of something important like a job or a class, you can permit yourself to check it once per day, or once every couple of days—I wouldn’t want you to miss an important update. Other than that, though, don’t get stuck constantly refreshing your college email to see if there are any new updates. New updates can wait.
Do Something Else With Your Time
Last, but certainly not least, do something else with your time. You can’t worry about college if you're too busy doing other things. So, here are a couple of suggestions:
- Get a part-time job: Many people go back to their old jobs that they had before college for a few weeks. See if your old part-time job has an opening.
- Create a blog: I am all about blogging (obviously), and your winter break is the best time to start one. I have an entire blog dedicated to advice about starting and sustaining a blog (click here to check out Amanda Cross Blog.)
- Spend time with friends/family: Your friends and family back home probably miss you a whole lot. Make some time to see them this winter break and get your mind off the stress of school.
- See a movie: There are tons of movies coming out this winter. See a few (or all of them, I won’t judge.)
- Read for pleasure: It’s so hard to just read throughout the year. Read a few of the books that have been piling up on your to-read list. A few weeks ago, I shared some of the books I have purchased lately on a post about things I have been loving (check out that post here.)
There are hundreds of things you can do instead of worrying and stressing about next semester, so don’t hesitate to get out there and do those things!
Simply put, you gain nothing from worrying about next semester. Next semester is weeks away; you should try to be as in the moment as you can be. Instead of worrying about something that is far away, get in the moment and appreciate the things that you can do right now.
I hope that this article has helped ease some tensions and snapped you back into reality. The time that you should always be focusing on is now.