7 Tips for Students Feeling Overwhelmed

So it’s just a few weeks in to the semester and you’re already feeling overwhelmed. Don’t worry, a lot of us are feeling that way. It’s difficult to adjust from the relaxing summer and get back into the grind of homework, exams, and organizations demanding so much of your time. To combat this overwhelming feeling, here are some ways to relieve stress and get back on track:

Organize, organize, organize. I can’t stress how important it is to get organized before you start attempting to get things done. Gather all your papers and notes for each class and put them in a binder or folder. Also, organize the files on your laptop by class so that you can easily find them later. Use a planner and write down all the assignments, club meetings, and random things you have to get done that week.

Write down all your assignments for the semester. Each semester, I make an excel sheet of all my assignments for each class by due date. This allows me to know exactly when everything is due so huge assignments don’t sneak up. If you know what you have due each week, you can plan out your time and be less stressed.

Catch up. It’s not too late to catch up on readings you didn’t feel like doing the first two weeks of classes. Do this right now so that you don’t fall further behind.

Set up specific study hours. Set aside several hours each day when you will study and only study. If you can stick to several hours of studying each day, you will get much more done and be able to relax a bit too! As a little experiment, try being productive between the hours of 9 am to 5 pm when you don’t have classes. So if you have a lot of breaks during your day classes, study during all of these breaks. This will also be good practice for when you have that dreaded 9-5 job where you have to be doing things all day.

Evaluate what’s important. You may be feeling overwhelmed simply because you have too much on your plate. If you are balancing a full course load, a part-time job, research, and leadership positions in multiple organizations, it will be difficult not be overwhelmed. Maybe you have to give up that part-time job or slow down on your involvement in so many clubs and organizations. It’s really easy to get involved in too many clubs. Instead, focus your efforts on just a couple.

Seek out support. Ask professors or TAs for help on material, ask friends to help you through the tough days, or visit Student Health if you are struggling emotionally. It’s ok to ask for help because no one can do anything on their own.

Give yourself a break. After you get all your work done for the day, reward yourself with going out to eat, watching a couple episodes of Netflix, etc. If you have something to look forward to at the end of the day, you will be more motivated to work harder during the day and get stuff done.

The most important thing to remember is to work through your stresses slowly instead of getting overwhelmed by everything you have to do. Don’t forget to take time to relax, because eventually you will get everything done!

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