A few weeks before I started college, I felt lost. I had no idea how to navigate classes, I didn’t know how the teachers would be, I did not have any of my lifelong classmates that had been there before… you know, the usual freshman jitters. I was an anxious ball of stress and I had yet to begin my classes. I knew I had to get a grip on it before I actually started otherwise, I would slowly evolve into one bunched up, blood pressure rising, burden of a person.
Isn’t it funny how the universe is always tuning into our inner thoughts?
Right after I was freaking out, I got a call from my advisor checking in on if I needed any help. So, I listed some of my problems and they listed some solutions. Obviously, they couldn’t give me every answer to all my nonsensical hypotheticals and my questions simply beyond their capabilities. I was lucky enough to even have that kind of support they offered, but nonetheless I was still an adult and I still had to learn some of this stuff on my own.
Fast forward to about two weeks later- I had just finished with orientation and I was about to register for my classes when my advisor informed me that I had to take a pass/fail extracurricular dedicated to checking in on your spiritual, mental, and physical wellbeing. Keep in mind that this news was a few minutes before we had to start registering our course codes to sign up for classes.
I was so annoyed with this new information. I mean, I had just gotten over my worries about my course load and now I had to add more? It seemed ridiculous, frankly it seemed replaceable with something more helpful to my major. Still, it was a requirement therefore I had to register for it.
I was glad to have been proven wrong.
I thought the universe was listening to my inner thoughts when my advisor called, but the work was not done there. This class was my mandatory weekly check-in to make sure I was okay. It felt like every week we focused on creating tangible solutions to whatever our issue was. Part of this wonderful experience came from our wonderful teacher. For the sake of their privacy, I’ll be referring to them as Professor R. Professor R was a nonbiased third party that we could rant to about whatever issue was going on. They would guide us to the root of the problem and provide skills or things that can make things easier. To give an example:
“I don’t feel like I’m getting enough rest. I feel like if I tell one of my friends no, I will feel guilty about it later on.”
Professor R responded, “It can be hard to let some fun opportunities go, but prioritize which events are most important to you. By doing this, you will find more time for yourself. It sounds silly, but you really need to understand the value of rest in your life.”
Then they would show us a video of brain activity through an all-nighter.
This teacher was a lifesaver during my freshman year, they were literally the answer to my worries. Because I was lucky that the universe heard my cries for help, I want to help return the favor. If you needed a sign or help from the universe to help manage your stress, then I am here to help! These tips are from myself as well as useful information I learned from that class I mentioned earlier. You don’t have to be a student to use these tips or feel like you’re in complete chaos to use these, you can just be wanting to make life a little simpler.
These two tips are the first of my mini-series that I’m making in celebration of the new school year. For the next month I will be focusing on simple life-improving hacks that are actually obtainable so you can incorporate into your life in effort to be your best self. This week is focused on time, the next will be focused on mental health!
- The Positivity Post-It
Stuff Required: Literally a couple of post-its (a bright, eye-catching color)
This exercise is relatively simple, and it can help keep you anchored in the metaphorical storm that is life. The first step to this exercise is to think of three simple, realistic goals for the next couple months. The key is to create manageable, short term goals to keep you focused on what you want to gain in the upcoming months in your professional, personal, or social life. The second step is to take the sharpie and write those three goals you came up with on a post-it. Simple! The final step is to find a place you look at most, I used my mirror, and put the sticky note there to see when you’re going about your business.
This serves the purpose of being a daily reminder as well as a visual of what you’re working towards. It’s like the grand prize trophy you stare at before running a race. It keeps you grounded to what truly matters.
Bonus… if you write this note and find that a lot of your struggles don’t directly pertain to your goal or that your goal is not worth what you are going through…
Change it. You are the master of your fate. Easier said than done, but it provides at least some clarity you didn’t have before.
- Hour by Hour Scheduling
Stuff Required: A Schedule that lists every single hour (24 hours for reference)
This exercise was inspired by my teacher and from an episode of Arthur… Please bear with me.
When we were ranting to her midterm about not having enough time for basic things like working or homework. So, she suggested that we keep (AND MAINTAIN) a planner. It was really helpful to visually see which days were my busiest! But let’s be real, it requires a lot of focus and work to keep up with. I got my inspiration for this project while watching the Arthur Episode where Francine is trying to navigate her cousin’s bar mitzvah and her bowling tournament on the same day… at the same time. I’m straying from the topic.
So, to do this project, as I’ve mentioned before, all you need is a schedule of your week hour by hour. You can find this online or design one to your taste. Right before you start the week, take the time to schedule what a typical week looks like. Include what time you usually wake up, get ready, commute to work or school, lunch, etc. The key is honesty here. As much as I wanted to count my short walks to class as “exercise of the day” I knew that I wouldn’t be beneficial if I amplified it. I instantly was able to see where all my time was going. As shameful as it is to admit, some days I spent 30-60 minutes on Instagram. I could have done a workout or cleaned or did homework in that time! It was just mindless scrolling, not anything of substance. Time is a precious thing, so instead of using that time to complain about the lack of time make the effort to Carpe Diem as the latin say.
The Author, formerly frantic, now at ease