Avoiding Stress Factors and Getting the Most Out of Your Semester
by Sierra Howard
Having anxiety about the start of school? You’re not alone. Here is a list of things that will hopefully help you achieve the best first week of school, and hopefully the best year you’ve ever had. The first tip may seem cliche and overused but it is definitely important. Create a routine!
It doesn’t take long and it’s not hard. You have to put yourself on a schedule. Your week will consist of your classes and it’s clear those can’t be moved, but you can plan around them.
Always have breakfast. It’s the most important meal and if you don’t have the time, try waking up a little earlier. By doing this, you won’t have the added anxiety of trying to find a place to eat. If you definitely don’t have time, then make sure to grab a good sized snack to eat on the way there or in class.
Make time for your homework. Personally, having back to back classes, homework doesn’t get done until the weekend or during breaks throughout the week. Try to do it directly after class, so that the material is fresh in your head.
Set aside relaxation time. If you dorm, you can relax in your room, living room, etc. And if you’d like, even take a nap. This will really help you to manage stress because you can train your mind to be at peace, which will give you a clear enough head to do your work.
Make sure you have your administrative duties resolved ahead of time! Financial aid, tuition, housing and outstanding balances,are all things that need to get done right away and if they aren’t handled, you may have problems registering for classes.
Right when you see a stop on your account, RESOLVE IT before school starts. These quick things can put you back in the game big time. Yes ,they are annoying, but they need to be done! Even if it is a month or two before school starts, get it done! Welcome to adulthood! You gotta handle your business now.
Pick classes that are not during peak hours (when everyone comes at the same time and parking becomes overwhelming).
Don’t forget to check blackboard! This is your information hub. You can easily miss out on assignments if you do not frequent this site. Check your emails every day before school starts! Before your first class, you’ll probably be able to view your syllabus, which is helpful because you will have a better understanding of the class and can adequately prepare.
Plan to make friends or acquaintances with your classmates! Down the road you’ll meet people inside and outside of class, but if you want to get as much as you can out of the class, or college in general, get to know who you’re sitting next to.
College is a time in your life where you should be networking. Building relationships with your classmates will improve your experience. You can get homework, notes, handouts, etc. from texting, calling, emailing your new friends so you’ll never miss a beat, because the “I wasn’t in class” excuse doesn’t work in college.
Participate in events around campus and join clubs! (If you’re interested in writing, join The Banner!) This is a cool way to get involved and make friends if you are new to the school or just want to mix it up.
Create a clean slate for yourself. It is important to take the time and reset yourself after each semester/year, before each semester/year. Whenever you catch yourself feeling down about the previous semester or having doubts about the first one, tell yourself, “This is a new year, a new semester, and I will always have a chance to do better.” Never doubt yourself if you didn’t graduate within the 4-year mark. Not everyone does, and not everyone will. Just do well and you will get it done when you get it done. Graduating is an accomplishment despite the amount of time it takes you.
Plan fun events throughout the year whenever you have a break from school whether it be after class or on weekends. Take a trip upstate or out of the city altogether with some friends or family. Go hiking, eat at expensive places and go on train rides to places you wouldn’t normally go. Excitement is a good break away from the stressful college life. This is sure to reduce your anxiety boatloads.
If you don’t want to go too far, just hop on the shuttle to the ferry for the ride, plug in your headphones and take the time to appreciate being done with class for the day and grab a bite to eat in Manhattan or even at the ferry.
Enjoy your year! This is college and this is a time when you are bound to make mistakes. Do not let them get you down. If you make a mistake, it’s OKAY. You are human.