At the request of my Honey Bunches of Oats for an article a bit more lighthearted, here is my opinion on stress management, being a Lawrentian and coming to terms with college life, as gathered from my time so far here at ye ole Lawrence (not seemingly happy topics, I know). I came to Lawrence vaguely aware that it was going to be a rigorous curriculum, with three trimesters instead of two, but with my brand new ‘college backpack’ and all my fine point sharpies, I thought I could take on the world. First trimester lured me in with an array of classes that seemed a manageable workload and then real college workloads kicked in and suddenly there was no time for anything. Now, as a student who has gone through some stress, who has come to terms with college life and as a Lawrentian—here is my advice to you.
You Are Paying For This:
Take all bad habits from high school and wrap them in tin foil and place them in a microwave. For example, in high school, I could often slide by in advanced English courses doing minimal work, which led to horrible essay-writing strategies (which actually were not anything resembling a strategy unless reading and then writing a response to the prompt roughly three hours before the due date counts). But in college, where I am paying money to be taught, why would I ever want to do the bare minimum? What is the point of paying for an (expensive) education if you are not going to take it seriously? If I wait until three hours before the due date to do an essay, it is not going to be to the best of my ability and I will not be improving any of my writing skills. Procrastination is a dangerous, dangerous game to play (I am speaking as one still suffering from her ever entwining and insidious clutches) and it will never lead to a quality you want to continue in your post-graduate job. Future bosses are not going to be as chill with asking for a second extension on your presentation if they are paying you for your supposed ‘hard work.’
Lawrentians Never Have Time For Anything:
Everyone on this campus seems to be freakishly busy to me. During my freshmen year, I was struggling with managing two jobs (now I have three), clubs, ensembles, class and a social life. I fell into the ‘let’s hang out soon!’ trap. You know…when you see someone on campus you know and want to meet up with but you are both too busy right now so you proclaim ‘let’s hang out soon!’ as you rush off to your important thing, leading to a never-ending cycle of never actually hanging out and just saying you will. And I realized—‘Whoa! Teachers are humans too!’ (well, most of them). They understand the Lawrence curriculum is crazy and sometimes you get sick, need a day off, forgot or wanted to catch up with someone so you are a bit late and that is fine! Once I broached the scary gap and finally started talking to my teachers and *gasp* using their office hours to talk, I realized they are very understanding people! As one teacher told me, and I believe this to be a largely held belief amongst many of the faculty here, “We as your instructors would much, much rather have you awake and alert in class so you can at least participate in discussion, even if you do not fully understand the topic and, in doing so, gain awareness of various perspectives on a certain topic as well as your own, than have you stay up extremely late to finish the assigned reading and then be too tired in class to participate and share your opinion.” Also, trying to absorb information after a certain point of overtiredness is futile, as your body may be able to regurgitate facts the next day in a quiz, but you learn nothing.
Friends Are Nice!
When I toured Lawrence, what struck me most was the sense of community I felt. But what is the point of going to such a college if I do not participate in that community? Studying with friends is great! Also, sometimes maybe that reading assignment can wait and what you really need is to get off campus with some friends and just buy crazy sweaters at the thrift store or go for an introspective walk and be like ‘whoa, nature is cool I should go outside more often!’ Stop telling your friends you will hang out at some point soon—just stop right there in the middle of the walkway and schedule something together and make it happen! I promise it will feel so nice after you two meet up and catch up.
Stuffed Animals, McDonalds, and The Fight For Bathtubs:
To wrap up this article, I will say that stress, typically associated with negativity, is something you will inevitably face. So accept that and make a plan! By not fearing it, you overcome it. Do you deal with stress by punching pillows? Awesome! I have, like, 20 stuffed animals in my room and I love them all forever and ever and they keep me sane. Also, McDonalds, no matter what time it is, always helps. Just good food in general really stops the stress levels from rising. That is my plan for dealing with stress, because it happens to me all the time and probably always will. I have accepted that and now, instead of staying up until 2 a.m. and ignoring all my homework as I binge-watch anime, I stay up until 11:30 p.m. and only ignore some homework as I binge-watch anime.
What I do to deal with stress, be okay with college life and handle being a Lawrentian, is what works for me. You do whatever you need to and do NOT beat yourself up for it! The endless cycle of procrastination, poor effort in class, not learning enough, handling huge stress by (for example) stress eating and then punishing yourself for it is a cycle that needs to end on this campus.
So finally, all I have to say is, I truly believe students would be less stressed if we had bathtubs so we could have bubble baths. I miss them so much, please give us bathtubs, it will solve everything.