Surviving Senior Year: Staying Stress Free?
“This is going to be my stress free semester.”
That was me, as I sat down to coffee with my friend approximately one hour before the start of my first class of the year. I was hopeful, really I was. Along with an awesome internship, I’m only taking two classes, a senior seminar, and a senior reflective tutorial, the capstones for my English major. I mean, how hard could those be, right? As is, I’ve already cut my workload in half. And, sure, I’m still working on my thesis, but I’m at the halfway mark, and I just have to find some time to actually write it. (Read: Cut my Facebook stalking time in half.) So really there’s not much to worry about, right? My friend, and fellow senior just looked at me and laughed. And, well, actually, she’s probably still laughing right now.
I had high hopes, really I did. My winter break was enjoyable. And productive. My schedule seemed promising. I came back, fresh-faced, relaxed and ready to take on the final semester.
And then, well, then I got hit with a thesis discussion meeting, multiple club budget meetings, a 5-page paper to do over the weekend, and too much reading to type out for all of you. Plus a weekend full of familial obligations. Not exactly what I had in mind for my first week back. But hey, if there’s one thing I learned in college it’s that nothing ever goes quite the way you planned. So I really should have known, this semester wouldn’t exactly be “stress free.” Which, you know, isn’t exactly a bad thing, either.
You see as I gulped down a coffee and attempted to plan out how I was going to finish all of my homework, attend my grandmother’s 80-something birthday party, and show my face at a family friend’s sweet sixteen (that sure felt like a time warp) I remembered something I read in my school paper a while back.
One of the editors wrote a piece about the fact that she didn’t know how to function without a lot to do, that she did her best work when pressed for time, that the adrenaline rush that accompanied a last-minute paper was way better than any Red Bull. I agreed with her then, and I agree with her now. Why else would we procrastinate so much? Put things off to the last-minute? Why else is senioritis such a contagious disease? And why is it that I can get more done in one hour on Sunday night that I can get done in an entire weekend?
Because I’m a college student. And college students “work well under pressure,” as we like to put it. And while this may not be a method that provides me with a stress free semester, it is a method that works for me. And I bet it’s a method that works for you too.
Because, we’re all busy. We all take on too much. But that doesn’t mean we won’t get it done. We know we’ll get it done. We know ourselves. We know what we can handle. We can volunteer for charity, work part-time, spend an hour Facebook stalking, head to class on two hours of sleep, and crank out an A paper in less than 24 hours, all while still managing to fit in some chill time and a late night hookup. So let’s enjoy it while we can; I know I plan to, because something tells me we won’t be able to pull all that off with quite the same finesse a few years from now.