So, for the past week every time I take a study break and hit up ye olde social media, I see a lot of amusing posts from my fellow struggling comrades that read something along the lines of, “To Do Tonight: 1. Cry, 2. Only Cry Once.” What a valiant goal! Because it’s true.
There are several times throughout the semester that the whole aura of the campus changes. All of a sudden you see more students in sweats with messy hair and slightly bloodshot eyes. When asked how they’re doing the common reply is, “Oh, you know!” included with a sad, slightly crazed smile. College has its ups and downs and when the realization hits that we only have two weeks of classes left before finals, the campus becomes somewhat of a survival show. The one thing people will not be able to prepare you for in college is stress.
Yes, you can read articles and books and have your own self-care regiment that worked for you in high school. But, nothing prepares you for this. All I can promise you is that you are going to figure it out. As a senior, I found it incredibly hilarious to see the freshmen begin to freak out about finals a few days ago. Then, remembering back to what my first set of finals was like as a freshman, my smile drops and I just want to pick them all up and give them a hug and tell them that eventually, it’s all going to be OK. Because it does get better. The stress will never fully go away, but through trial and error you will figure out how you best handle it. For example, as a senior, if I am given an assignment of a five-page paper, I know approximately how long it will take me in hours, how I need to research, and how I need to outline it to write fluidly and efficiently. It may have taken me six semesters to figure out, but I finally did.
You got this. There might be tears, there might be coffee, there might be late night pizza, and there might be naps in the library, but in the end you are going to make it home for the holidays in one piece! Among the numerous online articles about things you can do to manage your stress as a college student here is my advice: S.T.O.P.
S – Stop
T – Take 3 deep breaths
O – Observe/Plan
P – Proceed
So, my fellow and future Captains, don’t forget to breathe! May the odds be ever in your favor. The sun will come out tomorrow and all that jazz. We got this! Finals ain’t got nothing on us!