For those who are about to take finals, we salute you. The few weeks between Thanksgiving break and the heavenly month-long winter break seem to be some of the most stressful of the college school year.
The eight days I spent at home for Thanksgiving was the longest period of time I had been there since summer, and, as much as I love my college, getting back into the swing of things was rough. There were a few days last week when I really struggled—I was stressed, tired, missing my cats, my family, and my boyfriend (not necessarily in that order), and overwhelmed by the work that I had handled so well just two weeks prior. After a while, though, I adjusted.
I’m more than ready to return home for the holidays
, but I think I can make it through the next couple of weeks. If you don’t hear from me in January, you’ll know that I've been buried under a pile of essays, am hibernating, and won’t come out until spring.
The best strategy I've used for getting through the past week and a half has been to just stay in the moment. Don’t worry about what happened last week or what will happen next week; keep yourself centered.
My agenda has been the perfect partner in crime—every day, I write down a list of assignments I want to do that day. Even if I only remind myself to “work on” something, I know that I’ll get at least a little bit done on that particular assignment. This has saved me a lot of late nights working on stuff due the next day.
I also like to write down even the most obvious of things just so I can check them off. Because I’m a compulsive gold-star-striver (it’s almost pathological), I find that being able to draw a line through something means that I’ll feel truly accomplished, even if it’s something that I probably didn't need to be prompted to do.
I have also been sticking to my routine, despite the craziness that has been this week. I eat lunch and dinner at the same time as I do on any other day, I go to the gym like I have been all semester, and I go to bed at about the same time every night (see above paragraph). Although it requires a little extra effort in the realm of staying on top of things, it’s worth it to feel a little bit more like a human being at the end of the week.
Making a mental list of everything that I’m looking forward to doing over break, like watch old Christmas movies (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
, anyone?) with my little brother and making all our usual treats with my mom, has helped me with my pre-break blues. I have a plan for what I know that I’ll do and will enjoy doing.
The last stretch of the semester is a bumpy ride, especially if, like me, you’re a freshman and still getting used to college
. But you, too, will survive! Just keep reminding yourself that in a few short weeks, you’ll be done with finals, papers, and will finally be enjoying that much-needed post-semester break.
What do you look most forward to doing during your winter break?