Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Beating Stress like a Pro

It is a stressful time at UNH right now. As a university, we are facing huge budget cuts that could deeply affect the future of this institution and its contributions to this state. The professors and faculty members have to fear for their jobs and the thought that they could be exchanged for less experienced, less talented, less qualified and less engaging replacements. Most importantly, because this is a university where education is the primary goal, it is that time of the year students begin to stress over finals, grades, internships, and graduation. In just a few weeks, the class of 2011 will have graduated and be off into the real world. Which, on a personal note, deeply terrifies me because that means I will officially be a senior. (Edit: And now President Mark Huddleston is stressing over the fact that his faculty may not have any confidence in him. It's okay Pres, I have the perfect stress relief medication for you...)

Over the weekend, I was asked a handful of times about what I am planning on doing after I graduate. There may be nothing more I despise than hearing that question. Let me just focus on my schoolwork for now, or at least until my senior year is underway. Who knows? I really like it here. Maybe I'll just have to become a career student. Although, due to the rising tuition costs, delaying my eventual graduation would not be economically feasible or sustainable for very long.

Anyways, back to the main idea of this column: stress. Registration, final exams, projects, and term papers. Fun fun fun fun. For a college student there are two things that are the devil: stress and procrastination. Well, those and STDs, but that is not what I am here to write about.

If you are able to avoid stress and procrastination, this time of the year should be nothing to worry about. It is important to stay on top of your work, but it is also important to avoid overdoing it. Getting proper sleep and knowing when to call it quits on a cram session can be equally beneficial for doing well on exams and other class work.

I have a few ways to beat that stress and avoiding the evilness of procrastination that have worked well for me over the past three years. Although, maybe I am not the best person to be giving advice since, after all, I am writing this late Sunday night, now Monday morning, and I have an 8 a.m. exam rapidly approaching, but I am not too worried about it. Other than getting enough sleep, setting small goals and rewarding yourself are great ways to beat the duo of stress and procrastination. If you have a couple hours of work to do, break it up over the afternoon with small activities to rest your mind in between study sessions.

I also recommend finding the perfect place on campus to get your work done and to relax. Personally, I enjoy finding an armchair in Dimond and dragging it to a secluded corner. All I need is a cup of coffee and my chair and I am all set for an afternoon of cramming. And who says cramming is bad? I have had professor after professor who claims that cramming will never work. Well, tell that to my GPA. Other great places include your department's study lounge or library if you are lucky enough to have one.

As for relaxing, College Woods has become a personal favorite of mine. I am a big outdoors person and taking a stroll through there with a few friends can be mentally refreshing this time of the year.

Use the weekends and the few nights off you may have left to reward yourself a little and that might actually help the motivation factor. If, you know, getting good grades is not enough motivation for you already. Tell yourself, "if I get this done know, I can go out Friday night." Most of you probably know that I am all about partying and having a good time, but this is the time of year to know when you turn it back a little, or turn it up to 11 if you have done well. If that is the case, congratulations. But just remember, there is absolutely nothing worse than trying to study with a killer hangover.

Then again, the weather is once again starting to get nice out and with that comes another reason to continue partying and living the college lifestyle. I guess the end of the year can mean two things. It is either your last chance to increase your GPA or your last chance to party before your summer job starts up. Either way, best of luck to you.

Stay classy, not UMassy


  1. What's your take on the whole Huddleston situation? would like to see a blog post about it

  2. Yeah, I'm panning on writing something about it tomorrow/this week... I want to take the time to really look into his statements and stuff...