3 Tips for Balancing School and Your Mental Health

How we all feel as the end of the semester approaches.

With college being a place where your mind is regularly expanded and challenged, it’s naturally going to be exhausting as well.

With the end of the semester approaching, you may be experiencing anxiety or finding yourself stressed and worn thin by the work you have to do. Naturally, you want to do well and finish the semester strong, but your mental health is an important asset that should be held equally valuable (an easy thing for us students to forget)! Here are some tips for valuing yourself in the weeks ahead!

Communicate with your teachers when you’re struggling

Often, when we fall behind or make mistakes as students, we are quick to give into defeatism. While things may seem set in stone, they hardly ever are. Just recently I had learned that I had missed a great deal of working in my Latino Literature class and this sent me into a spiral for the better part of a night. Despite that, I decided to come clean to my professor about my what had happened and we arranged a Zoom call to discuss it. In that call, my professor was able to work out with me a detailed plan on how to recover my grade by the end of the semester. What had felt hopeless before had been rectified, and I returned to the class with energy and hope. No one is infallible, so remember not to hold yourself to a standard of perfection, and be willing to ask for help when you need it.

Schedule when you’ll do what work

Work begins to creep in as the semester comes to a close in the form of final papers, exams, projects and so much more. With all of these surrounding you at any given moment, and the deadlines close together, the feeling can be suffocating and leave one paralyzed with indecision. Don’t pile on stress by waiting till the last minute: use a planner or calendar to set what times you will work, and set specific goals. Having this control over your schedule will reduce the intimidation factor overall for your schoolwork, and save you the headache of rushing through it all.

Remember to take breaks

Performing well in school is not as simple as constantly studying and working. Your brain is your most important tool, and you don’t want to put it under too much stress. According to the Yerkes-Dodson law, while there is a connection between stress and higher performance, the benefits only last up to a point. After so much stress, performance in a mental task actually decreases. This means that the next time you take a break, you’re using a scientifically proven method to improve your work!

We hope that these tips help you in the coming weeks, and that by the end of the semester, you can be proud of both how well you did in your school work as well as your self-care.

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