How I Got Through An 18 Credit Semester Without Stress

The amount of sleep you get can affect the amount of stress you are experiencing. Whenever I pull an all-nighter to finish an assignment, the next day I am filled with adrenaline and anxiety. This not only affects my performance in classes, but also determines how much work I will get done the next day. I made a point get at least seven hours of sleep each night, or take an hour-long nap when I slept less. I also have a form of kidney disease where exhaustion can overtake my daily plans. It forces me to put sleep as a priority. As the semester went on, I realized I was getting more done after a full night’s rest than when I neglected sleep to finish final papers.

1. The Result

It may sound impossible to complete a semester without any stress, but by not stressing and implementing other strategies, I learned to enjoy my courses. I ended with five A’s and one B. Almost half of my papers received comments stating that they were the best my professors had seen that semester. I was baffled and amazed at howGetting through a semester is not always an easy task, especially when taking the maximum amount of credit hours. However, it is possible to have a semester that is stress free, despite the grueling amount of assignments, readings and exams. During the last semester, I was able to do everything my major demanded, including writing 120 pages worth of papers (not even an exaggeration). I was also able to get a decent amount of sleep and hang out with my friends.

Below are a few ways I was able to handle a full semester, stress-free, without sacrificing having fun.

2. God

It might sound cliché, but the biggest reason I was able to complete the semester with complete peace was with the help of God. He gave me the strength to accomplish everything I needed to on time. A majority of my assignments were even handed in early, which has never happened before in my entire college career.

In addition, I realized that I am still loved by God whether I pass all my classes or fail all of them. All He asks is that we put our all into everything He calls us to, and if we are doing everything we can to glorify him, the results are up to Him.

3. Time Management and Planning

Time management is essential to giving each assignment the length of time and energy required. Personally, I wrote down every assignment I had - from the biggest research papers, down to the weekly discussion board response posts. After that, I planned out each day of the week, scheduling out the assignments and the amount of time I suspected they would need. I had all my assignments completed by Friday, and Saturdays were always set aside for the upcoming week’s reading.

I also used different tactics for planning my weeks. Usually, discussion board posts were due on Wednesdays or Thursdays. After I completed the initial post, I would make sure to respond immediately. I am a person who has to get one thing done at a time and cannot focus on completing several assignments at once. As a result, I began to get the smaller assignments done at the beginning of the week and focus on the larger ones toward the end.

4. Realizing I Will Never Be Perfect, and Letting Go of Trying to Please Everyone

With a type-A personality, I strive for perfection, which can lead to an unhealthy amount of stress and anxiety. As I began to pray for the beginning of the semester, the Lord showed me that I would never have every assignment done the way that I wanted. It is not physically possible to finish all my assignments at the standards others set for my schoolwork. It is okay to focus on one project more than the rest.

5. Getting a Healthy Amount of Sleep

God blessed me back for following his command on not being anxious. I encourage you all to realize that you are not perfect and that it is okay to not do as well as you want. Sleep, eating healthy, and seeing other people is important for our spiritual, physical and mental health.