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Opinion: How to deal with academic stress

Graphic by Francisco Wang

Welcome to another edition of What’s Up Wellness! With each additional week of the spring semester, students can feel more and more stressed. Wanting to relax but knowing you have so much to do can lead to increased frustration and decreased productivity. With loads of assignments piling up, academic burnout is inevitable. 

Symptoms of academic burnout can include increased fatigue and insomnia, high levels of exhaustion, lack of motivation, lack of class attendance, lack of assignment completion, frustration, and lashing out toward others. 

As we move towards March and count down the days until spring break, here are a few tips for time management and dealing with stress from our academics.

Improving Academic Stress:

1.     Get a Planner: Write down weekly goals and objectives. Having a planner will allow you to remember which tasks to accomplish. Studies have shown that when you write down a task, you are more likely to complete that task because it has been manually acknowledged.

2.     Set Study Times: Setting aside designated study times will help you immensely and will allow you to set aside time for other duties while still investing time in your studies. Try studying for 45 minutes and giving yourself a 20-minute break. Continue this for two to three sets. You can also try 20-minute study sessions with five minute breaks, if you have a shorter attention span.

3.     Get Ahead: Staying ahead in simple assignments, such as readings or discussion questions, will allow you to stay on top of your school work and reduce stress significantly. Try to set aside an extra one to two hours twice a week to allow yourself to get ahead in assignments. Reaching out to professors and asking questions about future assignments allows for clarity and intentionality, in addition to being a great networking skill.

Time Management:

1.     Set Timers: Put your smart devices to use and begin using timers. If you create blocks for activities and focus on setting timers for when to study, how long to study for, and what order to do each assignment (based on deadlines), you will find completing tasks to be much easier throughout the week. Timers will allow you to stay on task and help with transitioning. Being on a set agenda allows students to incorporate more free time into their schedule.

2.     Relax: Do not overwork yourself! We all need time to relax! Try taking one hour each day and allow yourself to relax. This could be a nap, eating, or a simple walk. Setting time aside to simply wind down and relax will greatly improve your mental health, which will also improve both your stress levels and time management skills.

3.     Set Your Priorities: Priorities are everything! Once they have been established, it’s vital for you to understand what you must do to reach these goals. Make a list and prioritize important tasks over non-important ones. From there, allow yourself enough time to complete each task. You can also break up large tasks into several day periods.

We hope this article helps you achieve a level of serenity that will decrease your stress levels and help you succeed for the rest of the semester.

Well wishes from your favorite Wellness Ambassadors!

The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect those of The Sandspur or Rollins College.

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