By: Nyasa Heyliger
As we approach the middle of our Fall 2022 semester, it’s natural to feel burnout from the change of pace from syllabus week to now. Whether you are a Freshman or a Senior, with the change of season and a return of over 75 percent of in-person classes, you may be overwhelmed. While these feelings are normal, when left unresolved they can lead to an overload of stress. I, too, have slowly felt the pressure of this semester rising, and have taken steps to ensure that I remain on top of my mental health as much as I do with schoolwork.
1. Use a calendar or planner to take note of the due dates of your assignments, tests, and quizzes.
Review your syllabus and create a schedule or use the course schedule usually included by instructors to familiarize yourself with the due dates. Being organized is a great way to relieve your stress rather than being blind-sighted by your assignments and having to complete them at the last minute, resulting in loss of sleep, which leads to increased moodiness, anxiety, stress, depression, and much more.
2. Set aside time for your assignments, so you are not distracted by other obligations during that time.
Given that we all have additional responsibilities from work, self, and family, school work may be the last thing on your mind when returning home at the end of a busy day. However, if you don’t set a habit of spending a few hours on assignments or studying, you won’t be able to manage and they will begin to pile up and overwhelm you.
3. Prioritize your mental health
While focusing on your schoolwork is important as a college student, without a clear mind you won’t be able to focus on your assignments. You may want to unplug and unwind whether it’s through hanging out with friends, listening to music, being in a quiet place, or watching your favorite show. Being in a good mood, and having the energy to complete your assignments would serve you better than being tired, unhappy, and stressed.
4. Make at least two acquaintances in your classes.
While most classes have group chats, this may not always be a reliable source of knowing what’s going on. Having at least two classmates that you can steadily rely on to exchange notes, clarify questions, and receive updates from will help you with accountability as well as productivity. You can even plan study sessions together!
5. Remember you are worth more than a grade.
While it may not seem so given that our college career is dependent on our grades and GPA, your academia is not the only thing that defines you. Whether it’s a hobby that you are passionate about, a job that you are good at, or your overall character, you decide what you are and are not. As a wise person once said, failure is the best teacher. One bad grade does not make you a failure; it only makes you aware of what you need to improve on and motivates you to do better.
With these five small tips, I hope you, reader, begin to or continue to take care of your mental health not only in your college career but in your everyday life. We all face daily hassles, many which are uncontrollable, and how we respond to these obstacles can quite literally make or break us. In this age, especially in New York City, where there has been a mental health outbreak, it is now more than ever, imperative to take care of yourself—physically and mentally.