Arcadia University, Landman Library
A big part of being a successful student is camping out in the library.

Fight Back the Stress

Whenever I stress out about tackling a big project, or having multiple assignments due at the same time, my mother always comforts me by asking, “How do you eat an elephant?” Okay, weird question (especially for a veg-head like me), but seriously, think about it. How? The answer: One bite at a time.

I think this simple, obvious philosophy is what has helped me find peace and balance while being incredibly overwhelmed with senior year. I want to do everything during my last semesters here at Arcadia. But it’s kind of tough to balance “everything” when “everything” is overloading on courses, working on and off campus, and fitting in time with friends and family, all while trying to maintain a healthy mind and body. Impossible? No. Really difficult? Yes. But, I’ve been tackling it one bite at a time. Day by day, hour by hour. And I’ve been successful!

It’s tough to balance “everything” when “everything” is overloading on courses, working on and off campus, and fitting in time with friends and family. 

The main thing that I keep in mind while chugging along through this semester is that my education and health come first and foremost! Maybe this means I need to skip out on a session of watching an episode of something with my friends to work on an assignment or go to bed earlier. Maybe this means I need to skip my nap and go meditate or take a Yoga class instead.

It’s all a practice of taking those bites — or pieces — and arranging them from puzzle pieces into the day. So, a completed puzzle for one day can look like this:

  • 8:00 am: wake up, get ready, pack lunch, clean apartment, and organize my things
  • 11:15 am: meet with a professor on campus to discuss thesis
  • 12:20 to 2:00 pm: class
  • 2:15 to 3:13 pm: tutor Italian
  • 3:45-4:15 pm: power nap
  • 4:30-6:30 pm: homework
  • 7:00-8:30 pm: Yoga class
  • 9:00-11:00 pm: weekly scheduled movie night with friends
  • 11:00-12:00 am: study or finish up some more homework before bed

In this example, I’ve balanced my school work, my campus job, my health, and social life. Of course, an important factor of finding and creating balance is sticking to the schedule created!

So, next time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed because you wanna do everything but you don’t think you can find a way to balance it all, try taking it piece by piece. Piece together a schedule and stick to it. You’ll be surprised by how much you get done!

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