It’s that time of the semester where things just seem to get crazy. You have little to no time and a half-dozen papers to finish by the end of next week. Stress levels are rising, and you find yourself eating more from the vending machines than the actual food you might’ve prepared and stored in the undersized grad student minifridge. Alright, maybe I’m projecting my own problems onto the situation here, but I think you get the idea. It’s just the time of the semester where everyone seems to get stressed. So, between myself and several other grad students, we have put together a list to help accomplish your goals, destress, and survive to the end of the semester.
- List out what you need to do and manage your time. I know this is a cookie-cutter type response, but there is merit behind it. Set a schedule of what you need to get done by when, section off the time you’ll have to work on each project or what you think it will take to accomplish it. If you finish something off, scratch it off your list. As the day goes on, you’ll see that you’ve been productive and that might just motivate you to keep going.
- You need to rest at some point. Sure, working hard is a core aspect of grad school, but you don’t need to wear the bags under your eyes like a medal of honor.
- Realize that you are a student. I’ll repeat that again for those in the back, you are a student. This is the time for you to learn and make mistakes. If you mess up, use it as an example to learn from and move on.
- Ask for help. You are probably surrounded by your peers every day, there is no shame in asking for help. If your peers can’t help you then reach out to your professors.
- Take time for yourself to relax, unwind, or whatever. Just give yourself that time to do whatever you want to do. I find that having a feeling of needing to do nothing from time to time helps keep myself on track. So, whatever you want to do, do it. Don’t know what you want to do? Lucky you, I polled some of the other grad students for their preferred ways to relax: play a video game, maybe something mindless and violent like GTA5; wine and dine yourself; go for a drive somewhere scenic if you can; spend time outside, maybe get a nice walk in; binge your favorite show on Netflix (or whatever streaming service or format you prefer).
Hopefully this quick list is of some help to you potentially over-stressed reader. Remember, you can do it!