Carry On

Staying caught up with the winter semester now in full swing

I don’t know about the rest of you, but after a mere month into semester two, I already feel like I’m falling behind (I’m not, but some days it’s just about all one can do to finish everything before the clock runs out). This seems to be something that happens mostly when I have a semester with a math class (like this semester), but honestly, from the time classes resume in January up until April 1st, the entire world seems a bit more dreary. 

It’s cold. It’s snowy. We’re still in that phase where it’s dark before six at night, and it’s dark when I leave in the morning, too. Between work, class, church, gym time, and all the little errands and chores that seem to add onto the to-do list, it can get overwhelming.

Sometimes the most stressful points are the little things that can shift the schedule around. Dentist appointments during designated homework time, class projects in addition to the typical homework, work meetings, your car heading into the shop for a new battery…it adds up. It’s not always fun. 

It’s OK. 

Life be like that. I do, however, have a few things I’ve learned along the way to make riding the waves a little more manageable, so drowning doesn’t have to be the first option.

  1. Time Management 

I’m serious, guys. You can keep watching the next episode all night long, while your essay remains unfinished. Sure, it may not be due for two whole days, but future-you will be very grateful that you at least had a head start. 

If life goes wild in the space of two days (which it often does), at least you got started, or if you finish early, you’re able to relax without unfinished homework cramping up free time.

  1. Stay on Top of Things

My least favorite pastime is homework. I know that as the week goes on, I will be less and less motivated, so my strategy is to stay as far ahead as I can on upcoming assignments.

Most professors add every due date to the syllabus before class even starts. If I have everything logged into a planner or calendar, I can look ahead for the upcoming few days or weeks to see what I will need to make time for that week and what to expect. Mostly, though, if I have a few extra minutes, I can work ahead, allowing for a busy week to be a little less crazy.

  1. Take a break

Sometimes all we need is a few minutes to gather our thoughts and do nothing. Finding something that relieves stress – whether it be a creative hobby, hitting the gym, reading, just chilling and watching TV or YouTube – or literally anything that relaxes you can be so beneficial. At least a few minutes a day should be dedicated to resting, even if you have to actually plan it out.

  1. Let the Little Things Stay Little

Not everything is worth getting upset about. Some days it seems that the smallest incident is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Don’t let that happen! Yes, every other light on the way home is red. Think of it as more time to listen to music in the car! Just let the little things go and put more energy into what’s really important.

  1. Prep for Spring

So what if the snow is sticking around? Plan for better weather now! Whether it be a vacation you’re looking forward to, making plans with friends you’ll be visiting, or any other activity in the upcoming months, sometimes the anticipation is almost as beneficial as the event itself!

Even when it’s cold and gray, life still goes on. Photo by Katie Leier.

Even in the middle of the winter, as mild as it is, life can seem a little stuck. Keeping on top of endless homework and to-do lists is a way to be sure that the stuck feelings don’t add up to suffering for the rest of the semester. Always take time to refresh and rest up, give yourself something to look forward to, and keep priorities straight. Winter actually doesn’t last forever; it just feels like that sometimes.

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