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Balancing Act: Steps to Tackling End of the Semester Stress

As the end of first semester approaches, it is easy to lose yourself. Projects, finals, social events, holiday planning, Winter Term preparations, spending time with friends before you leave…the list goes on. From this side of the fence, the daunting stack of responsibilities that is the end of the semester can seem insurmountable. I promise you, ladies, it’s not; we’re all going through the same anxiety. Here are some tips on how to take your stress mountain down to a slightly sloped hill:

 
To-do lists are your friends
If you let all of your responsibilities bounce around in your head, it can make tasks seem much more chaotic than they really are. Even putting things in a planner can make them seem scattered among different days. Putting all of your goals, events, dates, responsibilities, etc. on one master list can make them much more manageable. You can even color coordinate if you want to make it pop!
 
Prioritize work and play
Recognizing what comes first is essential to succeeding through this stressful period. Bottom line: you can’t do it all. With formal weekend coming up, it is tempting to focus more on social priorities, but don’t put your schoolwork on the backburner. We’re certainly here for a good time, but school comes first. Enjoy Friday and Saturday, but know that when Sunday rolls around, it’s time to crank out your best work.

 
Combine and connect
Spending time with your friends can be combined with essentially any other responsibility you may have. Big test coming up in a class with a few of your sorority sisters? Make an event of it! Set up a study group, all the while catching each other up on the latest gossip. Multitasking is a girl’s best friend, so try to combine things in your busy schedule. Don’t try to do too many things at once though, as that’ll make everything more stressful. Figure out what little tasks you can mesh together and actually save time.
 
Acknowledge your feelings
The holiday season is one of feeling uplifted and grateful. But it is also one of compassion and understanding. Don’t be afraid to breakdown, feel incredibly overwhelmed, nervous, and acknowledge it if your balancing act isn’t working. Knowing how you feel is the first step to feeling better. Ride out your emotions, vent it out to your mom, prioritize, and get back to work with a cozy holiday drink in hand.
 
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If DePauw can teach us anything, it is that we are never alone in our ventures. Reach out to your parents, professors, and friends. Chances are they understand how you feel, because they are in the same situation. Be sure to help others if they reach out to you, as well, and really listen. Asking for help will help you put things into perspective, and your work won’t seem nearly as daunting once you know you have a helping hand.
 
In the end, all you can control is your attitude and your actions. Be optimistic about the end of semester and it will spread to those around you. Remember why you’re thankful, appreciate everyone in your life, get in the holiday spirit, and stay positive! You can do it my lovely collegiettes!

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