Well, it’s November. Believe it or not the semester – and 2020 – will soon come to a close. As exciting as it can be, it can also be stressful. The last few quizzes, assignments, and tests are on the horizon. Your course grades are pretty well established at this point, but there are a few more opporutnities to do your thing.
What do I mean by that? Well, let’s say you have 3 tests before your final. You’ve probably taken two of them and while the third can move your grade, as a single assessment, it won’t move your grade a lot. The same goes for the 4 of 5 quizzes you’ve already taken. Basically, more of your course and course grade are behind you than in front of you. Again, you can still do your thing. If you grade is where or near where you want it to be, keep doing what you’re doing. If it isn’t, take a look at your syllabus or course schedule and figure out how many assignments and assessments are left in the semester.
Perhaps all of this is stressing you out, but it doesn’t have to. Do the things that are within your control and focus on those. Either revisit or revamp your academic plan based on where you are and where you want to be. The end of the semester can be stressful for any freshman, but it is perfectly reasonable if you feel even more stressed because we’re in a pandemic and perhaps your semester is ending sooner than in previous years.
Some stress can be healthy and push you to get things done. However, too much stress isn’t helpful for anyone. So to avoid the overwhelm and stay calm, try some small-scale stress relievers. To start, consult your happy-thank you – more please list. What’s that? Oh, it’s the list of things that make you happy. Mine consists of small things that will improve my mood and I can usually do no matter what. My list has twinkle lights, ice cream in a waffle bowl, my favorite episode of Living Single, things like that. Make your list and go to it when you feel stressed. No activity or item is too small.
You can also do things that will help you get centered like meditate for 10 minutes, a short yoga routine, taking a walk outside, unplugging to focus on your breathing, or playing with your dog. Your campus wellness office probably offers workshops and webinars as the end of the semester approaches because the feelings you’re experiencing happen around this time every year. This is NOT their first rodeo; take advantage of that.
The point is for you to find small moments of peace, whatever that is for you. There are lots of things you can do in just a few minutes, even in a pandemic. Hot tea. Coloring (or sketching/painting if you have skills). Stretching. Whatever it is, do something to alleviate your stress and get you back in focus. Remember your goals. Then tackle your task.