The struggles of “dead week”

With the week before finals comes a mix of emotions including (but not limited to) excitement, terror, and maybe some tears. At some colleges, they call the week before finals “dead week,” with the illusion that professors won’t give as much homework due to the fact students are supposed to be studying for finals. Even though some schools have a dead week, no student I have talked to has had a week with low amounts of homework due. On the plus side, it is only a few more weeks until the semester is over. Besides the fact you may feel like you are dying during dead week, there really is no  reason why it is even called dead week, because there certainly isn’t a break.

  1. SO much to do…

…and no motivation to do it635849721428143217835420571_Finals-Next-Week-e1336929069190

With the end of the semester, comes all the final projects, papers, and last minute tests your professors want to squeeze in. Unfortunately, this is also the time when some of the only motivation you have left comes from the fact that summer is right around the corner. The only thing keeping you going may be the fact that you are finally almost done with some of your classes.

  1. Studying for finals

Along with all the final projects, last minute tests, and papers that I mentioned earlier, you also have to start studying for finals. Luckily, finals is all over things you have already learned, so you shouldn’t have to actually learn that much new information, it should mostly be review. Although it is all review, it can be a very stressful time, purely because of all the stuff that has to be done.

  1. Packing up

If you are living in the dorms and have to move out, you will also have to begin packing up your whole room. I would personally start to pack up and take some items home if you can. When I went home over Easter, I took my winter clothes 1389454100427765931and a few boxes home, and am now wishing I had taken home even more. This week is also the time when, if you want to store anything on campus, you will need to start talking to the RD
or an RA. It is also the time to start cleaning up your room so you don’t have to do quite so much when you move out.

  1. Grades

Another struggle of this week is that in some classes, these next two weeks could really have a big impact on your grade. Some semesters, if you have a relatively easy workload, this is not too much of a concern, but there will most likely be a few hard semesters in your college career. I would personally recommend that you start reviewing for finals by the week before finals (at least) if you have some harder classes so that this time won’t be as stressful.

The college struggle of making important life decisions

Now that you are in college and have started learning how to act like an adult and do adult things, you will have to start making adult-like decisions. This process of doing adult-like decisions is adulting. Adulting is hard, and many of the responsibilities can be too. One of the harder responsibilities for indecisive people like me can be the fact that you have to make important decisions. These decisions can also be hard for individuals who aren’t indecisive and I give major props to those of you who thinking making important decisions is a piece of cake. You are not to be messed with.

Most of the struggles of making decisions come down to three main things:

  1. YOU have to make them

 This is not like high school where classes were (basically) decided for you and your schedule was pretty much set for the whole day. In college, there is much more freedom to decide when classes are, how many you have, and more importantly, what they are. There are also many other decisions that you have to make in college that your parents probably mademaking-hard-decisions-concept for you in high school, but you
will have to make them now. I’m not saying that your parents can’t give you any advice or anything, it’s just that in the end, it is your responsibility and your choice to make.

  1. They can be really difficult
  2. They can actually impact your future

Two and three go together really well, so I am going to explain them together. The decisions you make in college can impact your future and be really hard to make for that reason. One of the main decisions that comes to mind when I talk about this is choosing a major or changing your major. This directly impacts the career you go into, what your future will consist of, how much schooling you need, and even what friends you will make. When making hard decisions and adulting, it is important to look ahead to the future and make sure the outcome is what you want.

If you are anything like me, you can go back and forth between two choices for a long time before making a tough decision. In an article on lifehacker, they give a few tips on how to make those life decisions. One of my personal favorites is to pretend like you are giving advice to someone else in your situation. In the video below, a woman briefly describes how to make a hard decision by asking a very simple question.

The Struggle of Staying Motivated in College

As we get closer and closer to the end of the semester, it seems as though motivation is running low. When I say motivation, I am not just talking about the motivation to work out, but also the motivation to keep up with homework, study, save money, basically the motivation for everything is running out. Looking at a blog post from Kalp Education, I found some tips and suggestions for finishing the year out strong by keeping up these simple habits.

  1. Have a workout partner

Having a buddy to workout with really makes it harder to skip the gym. Not only exercise-workout-partner-icons-set-human-pictogram-representing-exercising-49038139does it make it harder to skip going, but it will probably make your time spent there more enjoyable and a little less awkward if you aren’t used to going.

The gym is not only good for your physical health, it is good for your mental health too! Towards the end of the semester with finals coming up and end of the term papers being due, it is important to have a way to destress, and exercising is a perfect way to do so.

  1. Find out how your study best

In the blog post, it states that you should find a quiet place to study, but I slightly disagree. Everyone studies and learns in unique ways and it is important to find a technique that works for you. For some people, studying in a group is what helps them learn best but others learn best from sitting alone with some headphones in just reading through notes. The reason this is a crucial thing to know and practice while we approach finals week is because you are going to want to know how you can most efficiently study. We want this to be efficient so that you are not spending every waking minute studying. Finding an effective method will help de-stress your finals week. Another way to encourage studying is to start thinking of it in a different light and to stop making it a negative task. 5671af68ad8225e9268f862853121fde

If there is a class where you just cannot seem to figure out how to study, always feel free to visit your professor during their office hours. They are there to help you learn.

  1. Keep your head up, and your eyes on the prize

While going through this loss of motivation, it is important to remember why you are going through all of this. Thinking of your end goal will help you to push yourself to do your best and finish out the year strong.

Relieving Stress in College

College is stressful, don’t let it get the best of you.

Although small amounts of stress are alright, there are some serious consequences if you are stressed out all the time.

Last post, I mentioned just a few of the stressors in college. Today, I will be giving you some helpful tips and tricks to help relieve that stress.

  1. Make lists

Make a list for what you need and want to download (4)accomplish during the day and check off the task when it is done. Sometimes you could be doing homework all day and not feel like you’ve accomplished anything but this will help you see that you are getting somewhere and accomplishing tasks. Just having the list will also help you feel more organized and make everything a little less chaotic.

  1. Do something you enjoy

Instead of dwelling on the stress you’re experiencing, take a break to do something you enjoy. Doing homework for hours on end is probably not going to help anyone and you will probably not take any information away from it if you have been at it for several hours. It is important to let your bring rest and reset by taking a break and getting your mind on something else.

Sometimes finding a hobby or something you love doing can be really hard. Between Google and YouTube, you can find a big list of hobbies to get involved in. Hobbies can range from collecting stamps, to hiking, to playing video games and some hobbies are quite strange. I found a video called 48 Successful People with Unique Hobbies  and it really shows how diverse hobbies can be and I encourage you to try to find what you love doing!

  1. Live in the moment

I know that it is extremely easy to just look forward to the big picture and think of everything you have to do to get there, but trust me it is way less stressful if you don’t. It is okay to plan ahead, but when you do, make sure to realize that you don’t have to do everything right now in order to achieve getting to that big picture. It is important to just focus on small tasks and set small goals to achieve along the way so that you do not feel as stressed.

  1. Surround yourself with positive peopleCartoon-Surround-yourself-with-Positive-people-for-Perseka-site-2011-Copyright-Kaveh-Adel-Iranian-American-Cartoonist

This is extremely important. Surrounding yourself with people who will lift you up and tell you that you can succeed are the people you want to be around, especially when you are stressed. It is good to have a support system and just knowing that someone thinks you can tackle anything can really help when you think you can’t do it or don’t think there is enough time in the day.

  1. Try some Breathing Exercises

Lots of people think this takes some elaborate routine or an instructor telling you what to do, but it is extremely simple and can help calm you down in stressful situations. Although there are classes and YouTube videos instructing people on deep breathing, it is something you can do by yourself, in public, without anyone even noticing. When you are freaking out about due dates, relationships, and upcoming tests, stop yourself and just breathe deeply a few times to relax yourself.

Let’s get real: The Stressors of College

Although there are many highs of college, there are also some lows.

There are so many stressors in college that most incoming freshman don’t realize, so during this blog I will be listing just a few of the potential stressors then in my next post I will be talking about how to manage and control your stress levels.

 

  1. Picking a college.

Although this is not necessarily while you are in college, this can be a very hard choice; I mean, it is where you will be spending your next four years at.  It can be extra stressing if your friends have already decided and you still have no idea.

To make this less stressful, try to figure out what YOU want, don’t try to factor in other’s opinions. So many of my peers chose a college just because their friend was going to go there or their parents wanted them to go there. Honestly, the whole college experience is just going to be more stressful at the beginning if you are moving in to a place you let someone else decide for you. That being said, if you do end up at a college that you don’t necessarily want to be at, it will be okay and you will get through it.

  1. Forming friends (and relationships in general)

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When I was first moving in, I was most worried about if I could make new friends. As I went through my first few weeks, I noticed that most everyone shared this concern. After I started branching out and talking with other people on my floor and in my classes, I found this part of college to be really exciting. Although I don’t necessarily believe that the friends I make in college will be my best friends for life, I do believe it is extremely important to find someone who you can goof around with but also have serious talks about life decisions and difficult times.

  1. Picking a major (or deciding if you want to change majors)

This is pretty self-explanatory, especially if you have no idea what you want to do with the rest of your life. My advice here is to find your passion, job shadow a few careers that embrace that passion, then just follow your dreams (I know it’s cheesy, but still).

  1. Time management

In high school, you had your day, from 8-4, mostly planned out for you, and even more of it if you were in sports or clubs of any kind. In college, you only have around three classes a day and it is up to you to fill in the empty time. You have to make the choice of whether you are going to watch Netflix all day, play video games, exercise, do homework, or maybe just do nothing, and you are going to have to sort of plan your day accordingly.

Another part of time management can also include prioritizing classes and knowing what assignments to do when. Everyone has their own way of doing this and I suggest finding a way that works for you. Personally, I like to get the hard stuff done first or the stuff that will take me a while to understand. I also like to get ahead in my easier classes if I have time to, especially if I have a harder test coming up.

  1. Teststop-five.jpg

Although some tests will take minimal studying, there will be some where you study several nights and still have no idea what is going on.

And it’s okay. Everyone goes through this.

  1. Expectations

It doesn’t matter if it is your parents, significant other, friends, teachers, or all of the above, other people expectations of you can start to weigh you down and make you stressed out. This is because we feel the need to meet those expectations (if the expectations are high) or prove them wrong (if they are really low). Whichever one an individual faces, it is sure to bring stress to their life at some point in time. If you are constantly trying to live up to people’s expectations of you and you are tired of it, check out this article about why it is okay to let them go and just do you!