When School Gets You Stressed

College with EmmaGrace: Part 12

It’s officially the third week of classes for me, how about you guys? I think my school started a little late so you may be even farther into the semester. With that in mind, I am SURE the homework/quizzes/exams are all starting to come. I would LOVE to help you out, so today I am going to give you a few tips on how to “reset” when schoolwork is really piling up!

Step Away

The first step when you have a million things on your plate is to take a step away. If you are staring at the computer screen just trying to finish a paper when everything else is pouring down on you, you will not get anywhere. Trust me, I have tried to do this in the past. I thoughts “just push through this last set of problems, finish that last page, etc.” However, if you step away, you can come back with a fresh mindset. Not only will it help your mental health, but you will work more efficiently and probably get a better grade. I would give this at least fifteen minutes. You can do anything you like, but I would recommend a hobby that brings you happiness. Maybe draw, read a book, or go for a little walk. Something that has NOTHING to do with your school work. You may want to get it all done RIGHT now, but I promise that just fifteen minutes will be worth it. When you have done this, move onto making a list.

Make a list

Make a huge list of everything you need to do. Include all the big assignments as well as the small ones, even if you are almost done with them. It should feel overwhelming at first. Even if you only have two pages left to read for chapter one, write down “finish chapter one.” I will tell you why I do this: you feel like you accomplish more when there are more tasks you can cross off. When you feel like you accomplished more, you WILL accomplish more. If you have a lot of little assignments written down, even if they only take three minutes to do, it is something to cross off the list. I also have a special way to organize the list;

  1. Either get your bullet journal, a notepad, or just a sticky note.
  2. Write down all the subjects you have to do work for. This can be all school subjects (like math, science, or education) as well as anything else (work, chores, etc).
  3. Begin to write what you have to do for each. I usually organize this in order of top to bottom priority. Like I said, EVERYTHING you need to do.

Create a timeline for that list

Now that you have written down everything that needs to be done, you must decide when to do it. Sometimes you are so behind that you might not be able to get everything done by the due date. And sometimes that’s okay. If you can just get yourself caught up, you can make sure you never get to this point again. Take your first subject, and write down the due dates for everything on the list. Even if it is past the due date, still write it down. Then, do this with every other subject. Next, come up with a time you want to complete everything by. If something is already late, you might want to get everything else done first. Unless there is a time limit on late work. For example, in some classes you get a 50% off no matter how late you turn it in. For those, I would start to prioritize everything else first since it doesn’t really matter when it gets done. For other classes, you may get 20% off each day past the due dat. In that case, I would prioritize those assignments a bit more.

Now that you have a date for when you want everything done, rewrite the list as either a daily or hourly schedule. For example, maybe you want to finish one chapter in biology and one page of notes in math by tomorrow. Write both of those assignments down for tomorrow. Or, maybe you want to finish an assignment before noon. If you don’t want to rewrite everything, you can just circle all the items you want to finish by the end of the day/hour, then keep doing that until everything is done.

Prepare your work area

Before you can even think about starting work you need to have a clean space. Start by organizing all your papers and assignments. Make sure everything is in the correct folder, with the correct notebook. When you go to work on an assignment everything should be in one place. Then, take EVERYTHING off the desk: pens, phone, notebooks, candy, whatever you have. Organize all that stuff. Put away everything in the correct spot so you don’t have to do it later. If you just throw everything off the desk it will still be a mess, and a distraction. Now, you should put only what you need for your next task on the desk. As many pencils and pens as you need, a notebook, your computer, etc. Nothing more than what you need because you don’t want a cluttered workspace.Trust me, if you have a million things on the desk, all you will want to do is mess with them or work on them. If you only have stuff for that one assignment, there will be nothing else to do but the assignment! I would recommend getting a glass of water as well so you can stay hydrated. Now, you can back to work!

PS: this means work from a desk, not the couch!!

Stick to your plan and stay on topic

First of all, you made that timeline for a reason! Stick to it! If you were supposed to finish something yesterday, you need to finish it today along with the rest of what was scheduled for today! I know it sucks… but that leads me to the part of staying on topic. Everyone always says to focus and put the phone away, which is so true. I hate to say it, but if my phone is near me, all I do is watch Tok Tok for hours… I just can’t help myself. Besides that, I have a tendency to switch back and forth between all my subjects at one time. I will write one sentence for English and move on to making notes for another class. Try try try to stay away from this! Only bring out your notebook and supplies for the one assignment you are working on. Also, close all your other computer tabs. If I have my blog open on one tab, I can’t help but start writing, even when I should be studying. Even though I need to do both things, it takes a lot more time to go back and forth and try to get my brain reorientated every time. However, if everything else is closed, I only have one notebook, and my desk is cleared of all distractions, I will get so much done!

Take mental breaks

I mentioned this in another college post, but it is too important not to mention again. If you work for hours on end, you will get absolutely nowhere. At least once an hour, give yourself 5-10 minutes to stretch your legs and relax your brain. It may not seem like you have the time to do this, but you do. Along with a mental break, you need a food break too! If you are so behind that you have to spend the entire day doing work, the do it, but make sure are hydrated and fueled. Make sure you eat some great meals and snacks along the way. If you feel your brain starting to wonder off too much, and you just can’t do it anymore, just take a little break. Come back to it in five minutes with a fresh mind.

Go to bed when you need to/wake up early

Do not stay up until 4 in the morning to do your work. This will make you feel horrible the next day and you probably won’t do well on the assignment either. When I write papers really late at night, I wake up the next day and can’t even decipher what I wrote. That being said, every once in a while, it happens. You just have to keep working and I get it. However, if you can help it, get your sleep and wake up early the next day. If you wake up early, you have the power of daylight (and coffee) on your side. I know waking up early sucks, but at least your brain has some more “fuel” and you have a fresh start.

Most of the time, online assignments are due at midnight. If you are working on it after midnight, then it’s already past the due date. So, you might as well finish it in the morning when you have recharged your brain.

I hope this helps! Please reach out to me if you have any suggestions on future miniseries posts! And, let me know in the comments what you do when school is really bogging you down!!

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace