The Stages of Being A Stressed-Out College Student

Let’s be honest, being a college student can be tough. We juggle classes, assignments, organizations, work and a social life, among many other daily tasks. It can be difficult to manage sometimes (or most of the time in my case).

Sometimes, I feel like I’m taking on too much, and other times I feel like I’m not taking on enough. Whether it’s my involvement in organizations, classes or my social life, there are times in the semester where it all just hits me at once.

My situation may be different than some, but my anxiety is an everyday struggle when it comes to being productive and completing assignments ahead of time. Honestly, I’m even writing this article three hours before it’s due because I let myself get to the point of procrastination basically all the time.

Whether you have anxiety like me or you deal with occasional stress like a lot of college students do, let’s reflect on the stages of being stressed out in college.

Your teacher hands you an assignment list for the semester

You’re told you have these assignments ahead of time, but yet, you let them pile up. Whether you’re told months or weeks in advance, you test the limits of how late you can start the assignment before the due date.

You forget you have homework to do

You’re straight chilling through the semester so far. You’re so oddly relaxed and have so much free time that you forget you even have assignments that you could start early.

At least in my case, I start my assignments so last minute that sometimes I don’t even know we have an assignment due until the week before the due date.

Realizing you have homework due

Time to freak TF out!

Stressing over the homework that you have due, but not starting it

Again, I don’t know if this is just in my case, but there are a lot of times where I stress so much about an assignment that I can’t even attempt to start it early. Then, I have to procrastinate and start my assignment at the last minute.

When this happens, I literally can’t bring myself to write that story that’s due for my Multimedia Writing lab. Instead, I find myself down a spiral of watching odd YouTube videos when I should be compiling my interview information and attributing quotes.

Putting off the assignment until later

Sometimes, I believe that I’ll have time to work on an assignment right before it’s due. My unpredictable schedule tells me otherwise. I’ve had cases where I plan to do an assignment on a specific day and time, and then I have a last minute event for an organization I’m in.

Stressing out again, but scrolling through social media instead of doing your work

“It’s just a quick break — I’ll get back to my assignment later,” I tell myself as I’m already two hours deep in my twitter feed reading up on some juicy gossip and dank memes.

Realizing you need to do well on this assignment to pass the class

We’ve all been there — trying to figure out how low of a score we can get on an exam or an assignment to still pass the class. The bare minimum grade for the bare minimum work put in can be a mood, depending on the class and how low my grade is of course. But hey, that’s why there’s the saying “Cs get degrees.”

Disclaimer: I’m not promoting being lazy and not trying your best, but if it comes down to it, I will be content with at least passing.

Setting reminders on your phone and jotting it down in your planner

If you’re an anxious college student like me, forcing yourself to do an assignment at a certain time and date can be an effective way to get s**t done.

If I have a big assignment due that I know I should work on in advance, I’ll choose a time and day of the week where I know I don’t have anything to do (usually the weekend), and I’ll set multiple reminders that say, “DO YOUR HOMEWORK.” This way, I remind myself how important it is that I work on the assignment.

Your friend asks you to hang out, and you choose your social life over academics

There are times when I just need a breather from the stressful week I’ve had. Usually, it only gets worse for me. During the times when I just want to clear my mind, I choose my social life over my schoolwork. I tell myself “it will get done in time to be turned in,” and “that’s a future me problem.” Big mistake, Cady.

You make it back in time to do the assignment before it’s due

Those 11:59 pm deadlines can be really tough.

You tell yourself you’ll never procrastinate again

I go through this never-ending cycle of stressing over assignments and procrastinating on them until right before they’re due.

You lied to yourself and you continue to test your limits

I always remind myself of my past instances with procrastination and stress (or in some cases, anxiety attacks), but yet, I never start my assignments early.

When a professor says, “This isn’t an assignment you can do last minute,” I always say "Bet,” and I test how much I can actually procrastinate and complete an assignment. I am the Procrastination Queen.

College is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Don’t let your stress take over your life. If you work well under pressure, then, by all means, procrastinate away! If you’re like me and you come up with your best work in the final hours before it’s due, then do what you’re comfortable with. Procrastinating and working under pressure isn’t for everyone but learning how to manage your stress and channel it towards producing your best work can be beneficial for you. For me, I’ll just continue doing what I’m doing – complaining about all the assignments I have but refusing to start them early.