It's no surprise that #NationalStressAwarenessDay falls within the first week of November. The time to start putting away the jack-o-lanterns and preparing your Christmas list -- better known to student's as, "crunch time." Are you ready to deal with every-last-assignment-you've-been-assigned-all-year being due within a two to three week span? --- and on top of that, a busy work schedule with classes in between? Yeah, me neither. It's going to be a tough month, but to better prepare I've listed all of my favourite tips and tricks to help you deal with the burden of crunch time, and also just live your life -- you know?
The best tips to help you boycott student stress -- CLICK TO TWEET
PRACTICE A HEALTHY ROUTINE
By this I mean eating superfoods and actively working on your physical health at the gym. I know what you're thinking: "I have way too much to do already, how am I supposed to make time for the gym?" Well, in reality the gym takes about an hour to an hour and a half of your day, and afterwards increases productivity levels. Spending that hour focusing on your health, rather than your homework, will allow you to think with a clear-head once you sit down in front of your assignment. This goes hand-in-hand with healthy eating habits. Again, I know what you're thinking: "But I loooove poutine." Well me too, but poutine isn't brain food, and for a month of overheating your brain you're going to need the right fuel.
I don't mean that the best way to get things done is to do your assignment weeks ahead of time, because if you're like me, you work best under the pressures of procrastination. But this doesn't mean you can't plan "do dates" to work on your assignments ahead of time. Using your calendar or reminder app, set some time aside for your assignments. Say you have an eight page paper due in three weeks -- odds are you aren't going to start the body of the paper until the week of -- what you can do is set aside pieces of time in the weeks ahead to create an outline for your paper, to find sources, to create a title page, etc. The small details you work on ahead of time will make the larger portion of the work that much easier to do, come the due date.
I don't necessarily mean in a group assignment, but working together with fellow student's to help each other improve their work. Speaking through personal experience, there is no better way to survive the torture of crunch time than to seek help from your friends. If you've missed a class, scrolled passed an important email, or simply just forget about something -- odds are one of your classmates remembered. Don't look at assignments like competition -- we're not in grade school anymore -- look at them as a chance to collaborate ideas, and build off one another's creativity. Be eager to help friends improve their work and always give some input! Plus, studying and working together is a great excuse to be productive while maintaining a social life this month.
SET ASIDE SOME "ME" TIME
There's no hiding the fact that this month is draining -- emotionally, physically, and mentally. Work hard to achieve the grades that you want, but remember to take breaks and do something you enjoy in between. Don't tire out your brain and physically drain yourself. Take a nap, meditate, cuddle your dog, or even just light a scented candle. Don't let your overwhelming agenda control your life and the way you feel. Personally, I can't get any work done if I feel like crap. If that means taking an hour or two away from the books for some retail therapy, then so be it. In the long run, you're going to get more work done once you feel better about yourself.
HAVE SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO
And by something, I mean book a vacation to look forward to. It will make your entire workload deplete that much quicker. You'll watch the piles of paper diminish, and once they do you'll be heading to the airport! This is probably the least cost effective method to dealing with the heavy stresses of school -- but hey, you have to live right? Life's too short to spend your money on fast-food and clothes you'll only wear once. Save up, and spend your money on experiences -- not possessions! The excitement of knowing you'll be experiencing an entirely new city or country once all of your assignments are handed in is bound to motivate and encourage you to get your %h*# together.