One part of me just wants to be done and start applying for jobs, yet another part still gets twinges of sadness as I drive around campus thinking about the day when I’ll be doing it for the last time. Luckily I am not there yet, nor have I had a mental breakdown yet either. So allow me to share some advice on how to survive even the roughest of senior years.
1. Don’t over exaggerate.
Yes, your classes are harder than they were freshman year, and yes the group projects are as awful as everyone says, but don’t over exaggerate. Keep things in perspective. It helps your sweet mind relax and keeps you as level-headed as possible. And trust me, when the barista at Starbucks throws you a curveball and puts whipped cream on your non-fat White Mocha, that’s something to be celebrated.
2. Break things down.
This piece of advice is a life saver. When you are feeling overwhelmed, compartmentalize it all and transform tasks into bite size pieces. Cross them off one at a time as you complete the parts and treat yourself when you’re done. (Food works wonders for treats, FYI.)
Even if it is just going through what needs to be done and saying them out loud. It helps to get your brain into work mode and it reminds you what you have to get done today.
4. Make lists.
Everything runs more smoothly when you know what’s going on. For me, this is accomplished by making lists; lists for groceries, lists of homework assignments, list of clothes that can’t go into the dryer. Anything and everything can be filed into list form!
5. Only worry about things you can control.
Don’t stress yourself out about things that you have no control over. This is a lot easier said than done, and I am the first to admit that I find it hard to release control but it’s imperative if you want to avoid periodic panic attacks. Trust me — I learned this the hard way! Although I hate group projects and they DRIVE ME INSANE, I’ve learned not to obsess and have, in turn, lowered my expectations of anything spectacular coming from my group mates. A good quote to live by: “It is what it is.”
6. Make the most of your time.
Let me clarify. Procrastination will always be King, but clearing out a time slot in your day for the possibility of completing work is what’s most important. Make the most of your time, or procrastinate as long as you please but make a time slot so procrastination can skip rocks and jump over rainbows freely.
7. Find your release.
For me, it’s crafting as well as pretending I know what I’m doing at the gym. Sometimes you need to get out of your apartment or away from your friends to have a second to breathe. Life is hard and you deserve some time for yourself to let out all of your frustrations.
8. Don’t get involved with unnecessary drama.
Really. Need I say more?
9. Start making decisions about life after college.
Ok, “decisions” is a bit strong. Maybe just start to ponder what you think you might want from life following college. And maybe — just maybe — this could take shape as a list? (lol)
10. Enjoy the stress.
It sounds contradictory but enjoy the fact that you are busy and have enough going on to keep you occupied. The success that comes from graduating wouldn’t be as satisfying if it weren’t for the stress and heartache we all had to endure.
We’ll all graduate soon enough and we’ll all miss college. Just make sure that, when it happens, you’re ready!