Viewpoint: Preparation, relaxation key when dealing with stress

By Brittney Coulter

Yep, it’s about that time again. That dreaded point in the semester when things start to really pick up. When everything seems to happen at once. When you realize you’ve committed yourself to a few too many extracurricular activities. Papers are due, midterms are around the corner and projects can no longer be procrastinated. Add a social life to all that and you’ve got the recipe for another stressful semester.

As a senior at Baylor, I’ve been through my fair share of hectic semesters. Through it all I’ve managed to develop some helpful techniques to help deal with the stress of college life. Hopefully they can be of some use to you as well.

The most important thing I’ve learned is that time management is key. Take a day each week (I recommend Sundays) to plan out the upcoming week. Schedule everything from workouts to social events so you never have to worry about not getting things done. Just make sure you stick with it.

When you’re making your schedule, be sure to leave yourself a free day. Use it however you want. Do anything that makes you happy, even if it’s just watching an entire season of your favorite TV show on Netflix. Don’t feel guilty about this; you’ve totally earned it.

During those moments when you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, don’t allow the stress to get to you. Take a deep breath and clear your mind of everything pressing. Use these moments to reflect on the things you’re thankful for. I’ve learned from experience that positivity can change the course of your entire day.

Life is a balancing act. If you want it to run smoothly you can’t take on more than you can handle. Make a list of all the things you’re involved in and prioritize them according to what’s most important to you. If you start to feel like you’re being spread too thin, it’s OK to let a few things go from the bottom of the list.

Physical activity is also a great way to relieve stress. The key is finding an activity that you enjoy so you look forward to doing it. My go-to stress–relieving activity is running.

Through all the stress this semester might bring, don’t forget to thoroughly enjoy your time at Baylor. It’s so easy to get caught up in everything you have going on that you don’t take time out to just live. Take a few minutes as you’re walking between classes to take in your surroundings. Take advantage of the positive experiences that college life has to offer. You’ll be glad you did.

Brittney Coulter is a senior journalism major from Houston and is a reporter for the Lariat.