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Tips for Managing the Stress of Postgraduate Planning and Class Workloads

Every semester students get flooded with school work and become stressed to the max. For seniors, this stress becomes even more intense when postgraduate planning also has to be done. This planning can range anywhere from studying for and taking the GRE, to applying to graduate schools, to applying for jobs. But all of this planning is taking place while students are actively taking classes and completing their course work. Many students also have a wealth of academic and nonacademic commitments that they have to filter in time for. The following are some tips for dealing with the stress of postgraduate planning and class workloads:

One of the best ways to stay organized and try to manage the stress of an abundance of tasks that need to be completed, is by creating a daily schedule. Figure out the most important things you need to fit in every day and create a schedule based around these tasks. These tasks can include studying time, reading time, working out, grocery shopping, laundry, completing applications, etc. Any little thing you want to fit into your day can be scheduled in at some point. By having this daily schedule, you will be less stressed about not being able to accomplish what you need to get done for the day!

Whether you relax by reading, hanging with friends, or sitting down to watch some Netflix, scheduling in this time to relax is crucial to managing your stress levels. If the only thing you do is your tasks, sleep, and eat, your stress levels will never go down. We all need to take a break at some point in the day or week, so find time to dedicate to you. Take a Friday night and forget about whatever work you have looming over your head to watch a movie or go out with friends. This down time will help calm your nerves and help you better focus when you get back down to business.

When you’re starting to feel overwhelmed by everything going on, talk to someone. This could be a counselor/therapist, friend, family member, professor, or career advisor. Regardless of who it is, talking to anyone about your stress levels and whatever else is on your mind will help. By keeping all of your stress to yourself, it allows it to build up and can lead to even more stress. Talking it out with others will allow them to help you in any way they can, even if it’s just by sitting and listening.

Communication is extremely important to managing stress. By letting your professors, boss, friends, etc. know about how tight your schedule is, it allows them to understand a need for paper extensions, less hours, why you can’t go out at night, etc. With a packed schedule, it is inevitable that you will get close to hitting deadlines at some point. Therefore, keep an open line of communication with everyone so they can help or give you space when these stressful situations arise. Not everyone will understand the stress you are under, so it is important to let them know when you are feeling overwhelmed in a certain aspect of your life.

The stress of postgraduate planning and class workloads can get overwhelming, so these above tips are here to help you try and calm that stress level a bit. The transition from being an undergraduate student to advancing to even higher education, or a job, is a lot of work. You gain the responsibility of planning for life after undergraduate schooling while still managing these school workloads. So, take a deep breath and test out some of these tips to find what helps you calm your nerves.

Sara Rodia

St. John's '21

Sara is a forth year English major at St. John’s University in New York City who had a passion for writing and aspires to gain her PhD one day.
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