Tuesday, January 12, 2016

My Tips to Surviving Senior Year...

The time has come for me to face my last semester of college (as an undergraduate).  I thought the first part was taxing, but I have a feeling this next semester is going to be a doozy... mentally, physically and emotionally. I'm predicting that if senior year was a person, it'd be Ferris Bueller, while I'm just trying to hang on like Cameron Frye.


The beginning of every semester can be a stressful, but the finality with this one is psyching me out. In order to feel prepared, I've come up with a list of things I think will be vital to surviving.

1) Schedule, Schedule, Schedule
I use both an online and paper scheduler. I recommend Google Calendar where you can create it on your computer and then sync to the app on your phone. As you can see from the screenshot above, I don't just schedule work shifts/classes/meetings; I also schedule time for homework, blog planning, and grad school/job searches. If I don't schedule a block of time, I'll probably just use that time for a nap and Netflix (not very productive).  I even have an hour blocked on Sundays for getting my schedule ready for the week.

2) Schedule time for relaxing
There's a false rule out there that relaxing can't be productive. Please PLEASE make sure you're scheduling time for social events and sleep.  I'm usually in bed by 10 p.m. every night so that I am able to get up by 6 a.m. nearly every morning. I realize that some people are not morning lovers, but I recommend paying attention to how long you sleep at night and make sure you're getting the appropriate amount. After pinpointing the times I can do homework and blog planning, I take any other big areas of time and figure out if I have time to have lunch with a friend or have one of my mug moments. It's still very important to 

3) My Guinea Pig
No explanation needed... Guinea pigs are actually great emotional support pets for those who live with anxiety or depression. Dogs and cats can be helpful as well, but I recommend making sure you think through it completely before purchasing any pets: they're both a money and time commitment (no matter the animal you get).

4) Knitting (or any other stress-relieving activity that uses your hands)
I have a real problem with biting my fingernails while stressed out; specifically when watching a suspenseful movie or TV show. Since buying a loom only a week ago, I've knitted three hats and left my fingernails alone.  Need a hat?  Buy me a roll of yarn and I'm your girl!

If knitting isn't for you, buy yourself an adult coloring book and marker pack. The goal of this tip is to find something simple you can focus on without much baggage. A crossword or sudoku book can also be helpful!

5) Reading and Writing
Over winter break I managed to read three books that have been on my list for months. Every semester it seems like I have time to add more and more books to my list but never actually read any of them.  The same goes for my writing. I seem to never be out of ideas for posts and rants but I never take the time to actually write them.  Since I'm so obsessed with scheduling, I plan to make sure I take at least two hours a week to read and write FOR FUN.  

6) Exercise
When I say exercise; I don't mean anything very 'intense'.  One of my best friends and I created an exercise plan for ourselves that I'm not going to share until I manage to stick with it for more than three weeks (fingers crossed). 

These may seem like six very simple steps, but they'll make a big difference if I actually manage to do them. Thousands of students survive senior year all the time... You and I can do it too! Right?

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