Dear Aunt Aggie,
This upcoming week, I have three tests, two projects and a paper. I don’t know how I am going to go make it. This semester has gone by so quickly, and I feel like I don’t have the ability to truly catch up, even at this point. My grades aren’t all that bad, but they could be if I don’t do well. I feel like my life is going out of control. I don’t know what classes to take next semester, what I am doing over the summer or even what the hell I want to do after graduation.
I want to do well, but I also need to maintain my sanity. HELP!
Dear Stressed Out,
Life gets crazy, especially during this time of year. School seems overwhelming. Escaping the tornado of schoolwork, on top of all the other things going on in your life, feels impossible. I get it.
Let me tell you, you are going to make it. Every single person in the world has gone through rough times, and the vast majority have overcome their challenges. You will too.
You can, however, get through things a little bit easier in the following ways:
1. Get enough sleep.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, younger adults (ages 18-25) need seven to nine hours every night. While your own body may be slightly different than this, set a bedtime this week and stick to it. Don’t rest in bed, staring at your phone. Instead, give yourself time — even 15 minutes — before bed to relax.
2. Eat well.
Eat healthy food regularly to keep your mind alert while you study. It’s OK to indulge in sugar and other processed items every once in a while — certainly don’t beat yourself up if you do so — but stress-eating is not the answer. It will only make you feel lethargic and demotivated.
3. Stay in touch with friends.
Don’t isolate yourself. Study with friends and classmates, and give yourself time to get coffee with a friend or two this week. Keep yourself laughing and having fun.
This is especially possible if you choose to manage your schedule. Start off your week well by planning out when and what you are going to do each day.
4. Seek professional help if needed.
If life gets too overwhelming, don’t be afraid to seek the help of professionals. This does not make you a weak individual. Really, it takes humility to know when you need the extra support of others. Sometimes, friends and family are not enough — or qualified enough — to help you out when you need it. Be aware of your own mental health, place value in it and look for ways to improve it.
CSU offers five free individual or group counseling session for students with six or more credits. Even if you do not know what to expect with a counseling appointment, this is a good way to manage your stress and anxiety.
Circumstances can be difficult, but don’t let them affect the quality of your life.
Aunt Aggie can be reached at email@example.com.