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Opinion

Hobbies vanquish immeasurable stress

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April 20, 2012

Oh, summer. It’s a favorite season for many people. It is so nice to wake up on a bright, sunny morning and it is already warm out. The birds are constantly chirping, and you can hear sprinklers going off.

Outside, it smells strongly of the dew on the grass as you go outside to enjoy the hot weather. People flock to lakes and pools to cool off and have some fun, and there is constantly a lawn mower to be heard in the neighborhood. Baseball is heard on the TVs and radios as to signify that the summer months are in full swing.

Then there are the barbecues and bonfires, a great way to enjoy the warm weather while also spending time with friends and family. Many people enjoy a good storm as well, and the summer comes with many refreshing thunderstorms, providing us with a spectacular lightning show and loud claps of thunder.

But wait a minute. It is not summer yet! There are still four weeks to go until we are officially on summer vacation. The short amount of time we have left of the school year also creates stress for many college students. Teachers need to find time to cram in papers, projects, speeches and exams.

There is not one student on campus that can possibly say that they do not have much to do and therefore are not stressed. This is a busy time of the semester for everyone. Fortunately, there are ways to combat the stress that you have been or are currently feeling in your classes.

One good way to combat stress is to manage your time well. Have set time in each day of when you are going to complete your homework and studying. Start out by finishing the work that is due right away the next day. That way, if there is something due in a few days that you have not finished and it is getting late, you are able to set it aside and go to bed.

This allows you to just take it one assignment at a time. Do not think about everything you have to do all at once. Just focus on one thing at a time and completing homework will become a lot more manageable. It is smart to start on big assignments that are not due for a while right away so that you can allow yourself enough time on it without having to rush.

That also leads into not procrastinating. I should not be one to talk; I procrastinate all the time. But by starting on things far in advance before the due date, you will only have to tweak the assignment a little bit on the day before you hand it in.

It is better to just do a little bit of a huge assignment every day instead of trying to rush on the day before or day of the due date. If you only do the assignment right before it is due, you are bound to miss a plethora of elements that go into the assignment and remember them right as you are handing it in. By getting a head start, you will be able to remember everything that you are supposed to do.

Taking study breaks can also be beneficial. If you do the assignment entirely without any kind of break, you are going to drive yourself crazy. Even a few little breaks here and there, like going to the bathroom, eating a meal, or watching your favorite television show, is enough to get you recharged and motivated to continue on your assignment or studying.

Another good way to combat stress is to keep a journal. Either write exactly why you are feeling stressed or about anything that comes to mind. Even if you loathe writing so much that you never want to write again, it is a relaxing activity and helps get your thoughts out on paper. It is also a good way to take a study break on a particularly busy day or night.

Everyone gets stressed, especially in college. But there are several ways to combat the stress completely or just make it so that you are not as stressed about assignments. It is an added challenge to try and juggle academics, a job and activities.

But if you approach it wisely, you will figure out a system that will work and help you do well. And just think, summer is only a few weeks away. Before you know it, you will be on summer vacation with far less worries and stress than during the school year.

Cristin Dempsey is an English major and music minor from Eagan, Minn. She enjoys writing, playing the flute and swimming. After college she would like to pursue a career as an editor.