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Sunday Scaries: A Guide to Avoiding Overwhelming Weekends

Welcome back Panthers! Whether you’re a freshman on campus or a senior with graduation right around the corner, it’s never too late to work on living a life with less stress! Sunday Scaries is a term used, mostly by college students, to describe the overwhelming feeling that hits you when you wake up on Sunday morning, realizing all the work you have ahead of you. While relaxing at home, going to fall sporting events and hanging out with friends are all options during your free couple of days, it’s very easy for school work and other responsibilities to fall to the wayside. However, you can learn how to structure your weekdays to avoid the Sunday slump. Here are my top five tips on how to deal with Sunday Scaries!

Outline your syllabi

Although most syllabi are standard, taking the time to outline these documents can really save you some time and aggravation as the semester progresses. There are a lot of mediums that you can use to do this. Some people prefer writing important dates in their calendars, while others prefer to use a more technological approach. One method that is relatively new, at least in terms of TikTok trends, is uploading all of the homeworks, quizzes and exams from your syllabi and choosing a specific color for each class. Once everything is updated, you can select the data tab and then select sort. When the drop down menu comes up, you can then select ‘by date’. This way all of your assignments will be listed in order and nothing can sneak up on you!

use a planner

Planners are the way to my heart, even if I only use them 70% of the time. I am working on trying to be more conscious of using my planner. It’s a great way to have a nice snapshot of the day and also be able to predict the week ahead. This may be more accessible to you on the regular than sifting through your syllabi as well. Your planner can also be a space to outline other commitments, like meeting with friends, organizations, etc. This can give you a clear idea of the time you are working with for the day and how productive you can be!

create a ‘must do’ list for the week

Having a “MUST DO” list is a better way to organize your week and life in general. Putting every single task, big or small, on your agenda can lead to overwhelming thoughts and increased anxiety about schoolwork. With increased anxiety, some students wind up pushing their work off even more, which can lead to it bleeding into your weekend time. Creating a succinct to-do list will allow you to be more productive in the long run and have some time to yourself on the weekends!

create ‘pockets of peace’

One Tiktoker, Nabela (@nabela), came up with this concept called “pockets of peace.” She uses this to find the good in every day in order to keep herself grateful, focused and motivated to complete her tasks every day. This can be something as simple as taking a study break and going on a walk, reading a chapter of your favorite book or calling someone on the phone. Your pockets of peace can truly be made into your own and can help prevent burn out!

implement positive studying habits

Implementing positive studying habits can allow you to come up with a routine that works best for your schedule and encourages the most productivity. Some examples of this can be optimizing daylight hours for studying time so that your nights can be for you and winding down. Others can be studying in a spot away from home so that you can maintain peace and a safe space in your house/apartment. At the end of the day, studying habits are what you make them and creating something that is both conducive to your success and your lifestyle is so important.

Although none of these by themselves can truly lead to no Sunday Scaries, if you are able to implement all of these in your life while encouraging balance, you will be significantly less overwhelmed on your weekends. Encouraging this ‘grind’ mentality during the week will allow your weekends to be all about YOU! This will be better for you and your mental health in the long run! Have a great semester, Panthers!

Liz Acque

Pitt '23

I am a Psychology major at Pitt who loves to read and write. I love to use writing as an outlet and I think the art of storytelling is so important. Reading is the best escape for me and the way I typically choose to relax. Grateful to HC Pitt for giving me the opportunity to write!