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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

Moving in and getting started on a new semester can be incredibly stressful. Sometimes I feel like I have a million things to do, others it feels like I’m completely lost — unsure of what to do next and stressed about basically everything. 

Settling into a routine is helpful, but I also find that doing crafts is a good way to calm myself down and just let my brain process the day. Sometimes I need a little space to exist and adjust to a new context. If you ever feel the same, here are a few options that have helped me with that feeling in the past year — and added some fun to my life as well!

Cross Stitch

In cross stitch, I love the simplicity of following a pattern. You just count to stitch interesting shapes, and it’s very easy to find a little joy in the novelty of switching to a new colour or finishing a section. Plus, sometimes you just want to feel like an 18th-century lady adding a little beauty into her life and daydreaming the day away. Or possibly stabbing the fabric to avoid stabbing her husband. Who knows.

Cross stitch of cabin and northern lights
Original photo by Sapphyre Smith

This is a really nice thing to try if you want to make something that has a more practical use, and it gives me something to look forward to in the winter. There’s nothing cozier than tea, your favourite murder podcast, and knitting a warm scarf or blanket to ward off the chill. Plus, there are tons of patterns and beginner tutorials online to help you get started!


I like this option because it’s easier to move around than the others, and because it gives me that nostalgic childhood feeling. Colouring takes me back to simpler times, before I had to do taxes and figure out what a thesis was. There are tons of intricate designs to choose from on the internet, and if you don’t have access to the supplies, you can also try a colouring app on your phone or laptop.

Diamond Painting

This is an option I just learned about a year ago, so I like it especially because it’s new to me. It’s like paint-by-numbers, except instead of paint, you use little gems to create a mosaic. Like cross stitch, this craft can appeal to the historical lady’s instinct to collect as much jewelry as possible in the event her husband dies and she needs something to sell. Or a dragon presiding over its hoard. You decide.

Diamond painting mosaic craft
Original photo by Sapphyre Smith

Doing puzzles literally saved my brain during exam season last year, and I like this option because it can also be a group activity. When your head is stuffed with study info and you can barely see straight, zoning out to a puzzle for a few hours with some friends is a great way to give your tired mind some room to breathe and rest.

Moving in is busy and stressful, and sometimes it can feel like there’s so much coming at you that you can’t process it all. Hopefully some of these suggestions can give you the chance to slow down, let your mind take a deep breath, and feel ready for the next step.

Sapphyre Smith

Queen's U '24

Sapphyre is a fourth-year English major at Queen's University.