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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Ask Bobby #12
September 25, 2023

Preparing for stress


In front of University Hall, a student takes time to plan out her busy semester schedule.

The start of the semester provides a clean slate across the board: new classes, new peers, new professors and new routines. With all of these changes, having a plan in place can be helpful. Preparing for the inevitable stress that will follow the start of classes is a good way to stay on top of deadlines and be successful in the new semester.
Before classes even begin, organize any study places. This includes buying storage containers, moving commonly used items to accessible places, wiping down any surfaces that have gathered dust since last semester and restocking any items that ran out during last year’s classes. Decluttering the workspace can also help declutter the mind from any unknown stressors.
Secondly, signifying to the brain the summer has ended and classes have begun can also be useful for getting back into the school mindset. Whether this be writing down favorite memories from this past summer, collecting photos in an end-of-summer photo album or even posting a summer photo dump on Instagram, any of these can help switch the brain from summer to school mode.
During the first week of classes, plan out and write down routines to fall back on when school life becomes too hectic. Morning and night routines seem like second nature, but creating a study routine to follow is helpful during crazy, busy school days. After following these routines a couple of times, they will become custom.
Before the stress gets too out-of-hand, find easy and simple de-stressors to incorporate into a de-stressing routine. These activities should be away from technology as a way to calm the brain. This could include playing board games with friends, reading or learning a new skill, or self care activities, like showering, doing a face mask or painting nails. Whatever is involved in the de-stress routine, it is essential to have one to avoid burnout.
Apps like Notion or Google Calendar also make a big difference in students’ day-to-day lives. For creative types, Notion allows one to design and create their own homepage where they can put assignment deadlines, syllabi, to-do lists, notes and more. Notion has a free premium account for any student who signs up using their student email.
Google Calendar is what it sounds like: a free online calendar, accessible from a phone or laptop. It is easy to use on the go instead of having to take a physical planner everywhere. However, for those that find a physical planner more appealing, both HomeGoods and TJ Maxx sell planners for less than $10.
For most college students, novelty is a major motivator. Whether it be new snacks or new ways of learning, something about novelty helps students focus better. Take advantage of this and find new but inexpensive items for self-motivation. Studying in a new coffee shop and trying a new drink might be just the thing to stay on task.
To help stay on task, try buying headphones. While most of the time they go for upwards of $300, it’s not impossible to find a pair that is high-quality and budget friendly. RCA sells headphones on Amazon for around $30 that are soundproof and have great sound quality.
No matter how much a student prepares, stress during the semester is unavoidable. However, rather than walking into it blind, preparation can be really beneficial in making it manageable.

About the Contributor
Rena Weafer, Arts Editor