4 Ways To Handle Insane School Weeks

Hell weeks: we've all had them. You know, those weeks with three exams, two papers due, important club meetings, extra shifts at work and sorority events all vying for your time and energy. These are the weeks when you can barely catch a breath, let alone catch some sleep. If you haven't been struck by one of these weeks, odds are you probably will eventually. (It's an unfortunate side effect of being an involved collegiete!) I had an especially rough one this past week. So, without further or due, here are some tips to help you survive. 

1. Cut some commitments from your schedule. This was particularly difficult for me. There's always a temptation to believe you're Wonder Woman and can do everything, but putting energy into everything prevents you from doing things well. Take a good, long look at your to-do list and decide what doesn't have to get done. Obviously, some tasks are necessary, like studying for exams or writing that big paper due at the end of the week. On the other hand, some commitments are extranenous.  If you have a huge exam tomorrow, do you really need to go to a routine club meeting tonight? See if someone can send you the minutes instead! Can someone sub in for you for your intramural game? Can that hot date wait until next week? Look for ways to shave these extra commitments off your schedule, just during the stressful week, and come back full force in a few days! 

2. Cut out time wasters. Here, I'm talking about those little habits that eat up all of your productivity. Are you sacrificing hours to Netflix? What about Twitter? Consider downloading a time tracking application for your computer and phone. You'll be shocked by how much of your day gets thrown away. Save binge-watching and long lunches for the weekend when you can afford it. Sometimes these things may not even feel like time wasters, but they can be when compared to all of the work that needs doing. I found that I was spending a lot of time reading political articles and think pieces. This might not be a "waste" of time, because being more informed is great, but I decided to limit myself to a half hour of "fun reading" a day to make more time for homework. 

3. Get organized. Google Calendar is great for this! Having a visual represenation of your week can help mitigate anxiety. No, it can't eradicate your stress, but being organized can definitely make stress feel manageable. Here's a screenshot of my average week: 

 

Of course, this a lighter week (no extra commitments), but you get the idea- seeing your week helps tackle your week. This attitude helps in other aspects of your life, too! Try keeping your dorm/apartment organized during crazy weeks so going home feels peaceful. After a long day, the last thing you want to worry about is laundry or finding your textbook for the next day. 

4. Don't skimp on sleep. There is a huge temptation to spend all night cramming for your big test. Try to stay ahead of schedule and study every day leading up to the exam. If all else fails, pull your all nighter two nights before the exam instead of the night before. That way, you'll be well rested when you need it most! But try to get a good night's sleep every night during these wild weeks- you'll need it! Avoid naps if possible so then you can sleep well at night. Also, choose "caffeine cut off times" to stop downing energy drinks so you aren't hyper when it's finally time to lie down.