I’ve always been a planner. I have to know what I’m doing and when I’m doing it. Spontaneous things used to cause a jump in my anxiety. This often leads to forgotten or ignored assignments, using “Sparknotes” instead of actually reading the book and even skipping classes in order to finish assignments that could have easily been finished much earlier. But the beginning of May always brings a release of stress, even for those without anxiety problems.
Summer break always brings a sense of relief. No studious commitments to follow, no stress brought on by loads of schoolwork. However it also brings a lack of motivation. There are no real schedules and no real routines to follow. Essentially, it’s three months of pure laziness.
This summer was different. I got a full-time job after unexpectedly quitting the one I had during the school year, went through a difficult break-up and enrolled in a summer school class the night before it began. Nothing seemed to follow my typical routine.
Already in the fourth week of school, I am trying to get back into the grind of school routines and the constant on the go with no sleep, and you-have-to-turn-in-that-blackboard-assignment-by-midnight-and-its-11:30 p.m. kind of stress has already taken its toll.
Whether you’re a freshman just starting to get into your college routine, or a grad student who’s got it all together, getting into a routine of your own is key. Even if you don’t suffer from panic disorder, or something that interferes with getting things done, planning alleviates unwanted stress, allows you to have “you” time, and even if something does come up that requires your immediate attention, you can handle it. So, get a planner and write down every assignment that is due and when. Professors will give you a schedule of due dates in their syllabus. If not, ask for one. Highlight due dates and test dates so it’s the first thing you see when you scan the pages. Do I always follow my plans? Of course not. Things are bound to come up. But getting simple assignments or readings done early opens up time to do things that you want to do. Plus, you’re not staying up until the wee hours of the morning, probably in a sleepy haze, trying to memorize the phonetic alphabet (Oh yeah, I’ve