Illustration by Nicole Freewalt

Grace Cavanaugh ~ Copy Editor

 This past weekend, I was super busy and stressed. Usually, this is just how Fall semester goes, but not this early. It has only been a few weeks, but the amount of homework and work-work I had to do was getting to me.

     Over the weekend, I was getting over a particularly difficult essay that I was not proud of and had another report due for the same class. On top of that, I had two shifts at work that felt longer than they were, and a family event planned that my mom informed me they would not actually be coming as soon as me and my roommates got there.

     It seemed to all come crashing down on Sunday after my eight hour shift when I passed out without actually doing any homework for Monday.

     So, in order to help you better deal with this amount of stress, dear reader, I have compiled a list of ways to help you relax and focus for the difficult times, whether they are here or on the horizon.

  1. Bullet journal. Since getting my own bullet journal, I can understand why everyone loves them. I can make my own weekly or monthly planners, track my reading lists and moods, and doodle between (and sometimes during) classes. It helps keep me on track with what I am doing and what I have due, and helps me destress after I have checked off everything on my lists.
  2. Hang out with friends. Saturday, I went to Staunton with my roommate and her boyfriend and caught up with a friend from Richmond while we were there. It was nice to spend a day out with them instead of stressing over an essay or crying into some required reading. Hanging out with friends can get your mind off of everything weighing you down and maybe even get you into a more focused mood.
  3. Drink some water. Writing essays and studying for the upcoming midterms can really get you dehydrated. Remember to stop every once in a while, drink a glass of water, and take a deep breath. It will help you in the long run.
  4. Listen to music. I have a specific playlist of songs that keep me in the study mindset. When they are on, I find myself focusing more on what I am doing than sitting in complete silence. If you are reading and find music distracting, you could listen to the rain. I have an app that generates the sounds of storms, which definitely helps me focus on what I am reading.
  5. When you are done, get some rest. All weekend, I was working on little sleep and lots of early mornings. If you know you are going to be getting up early, make sure to finish at a reasonable hour the night before. Set your alarms, pace out your work, and if you do not finish everything before bedtime, it is okay! It will be there the next day.

     Most importantly, remember that everything will be alright. Fall break is almost upon us, and you can definitely relax, but until then, keep your head up. You got this!

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