The semester is a month in, and it seems as if all of the projects, parties, and papers are coming in one huge wave. With midterms right around the corner (Yes, they are happening sooner than you think), it's easy to feel overwhelmed by school, work, and personal events; however, you don't have to let this stress overtake your life.
Learn to Say No
This is the most important piece of advice I can give you. It's not easy; in fact, I'm still learning how to say no without feeling guilty for leaving someone needing help. Say no to things that you're not passionate about, things you can't give 100% to, things you secretly hate. I know it's easy to become trapped in busyness, but make the decision to limit your obligations. This alone can lift a huge burden from your shoulders.
While lessening the load of commitments can certainly ease the overwhelmed feeling you're experiencing, it doesn't make having other commitments any easier. Keep reading for some tips to manage your time wisely.
Keep a Planner/Google Calendar
Believe me, I was so not a planner person until this year. I wrote my obligations on sticky notes and posted them near my desk. However, senior year comes with more interviews, more meetings, and more obligations than ever before. A planner has helped me keep track of my life.
Another option is to use Google Calendar or an online calendar tool that syncs with your phone. I definitely need notifications coming in to tell me to be somewhere or that someone's birthday is coming up. Keeping your schedule straight will also help you plan time efficiently, leading to less stress.
Learn to make lists. Not only is this an effective way to keep track of what you have and haven't done, but it will make you feel in control of your time and life when something can be crossed off. Also, it's been proven that if you're feeling overwhelmed and unable to focus, making a list will help clear your mind. Lists are basically win-win-win.
Take a Break
Sometimes life just becomes too much. I truly believe that happens more than we'd like to admit during the college years. Between tests, papers, projects, presentations, jobs, rush, CAB events, advising meetings, post-graduation plans, it can be easy to become so overwhelmed that the world just seems unconquerable. In these moments, take a break. Relax a little, read a chapter from a book just for fun, or run a couple of miles. Come back to your work refreshed and ready to achieve greatness.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, know that you're not alone. I'm overwhelmed, your roommate is probably overwhelmed, and the boy sitting in the back of the class is probably overwhelmed. Pressure is coming at us from all sides, but if you manage your commitments and time wisely, this overwhelming stress you're feeling will gradually lessen.