Procrastination. I think that’s a word that we all identify with at least a little bit. It’s actually a word that I identify with quite a lot, and it has caused me enormous amounts of stress throughout my life. I have often found myself in a vicious cycle of stress and procrastination about school, activities, or whatever else I was supposed to do.
I think that many students have similar experiences with cycles of stress and procrastination. Thankfully, over the summer before my junior year, I decided to work hard on my time-management skills and deal with the stresses of school in a healthy way.
Of course, this mission is still a work in progress, and I still get stressed and nervous about important exams or due dates. But for the most part, I have come to discover some great ways to help myself handle stress and be satisfied with where I’m at each day. And if you find yourself procrastinating, I hope one or more of these coping tools will help.
1. VENT TO SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS!
When you’re stressed out, it gets easy to feel lonely and think no one else would get it, but I promise that everyone has felt overwhelmed at some point in their lives and someone you know would be willing to listen. For me, most of my friends early in college weren’t in engineering, so it really helped to find friends specifically in my major who were taking a lot of the same classes as me. We could complain about our homework or tests to each other, and it helped me feel understood and much less alone. You’d be surprised how much a good rant can help you get rid of a lot of frustrations.
2. WEEKLY/MONTHLY PLANNERS ARE YOUR FRIENDS (IF YOU ACTUALLY USE THEM!)
Personally, I am an organizer, and I have always had a planner since my first day in college. But for the first couple years, I would only open it about once a week. If you’re good at keeping up with things in your head, that works. But I forget everything I don’t write down, and I’ve found that one of the most therapeutic solutions to procrastination is to make a daily or weekly to-do list in my planner and be able to cross at least one item out from it.
3. FIND A COUPLE HOBBIES OR ACTIVITIES TO GIVE YOUR MIND A BREAK AND DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT DOING THEM (NETFLIX IS NOT A BAD THING!)
Sometimes, you need to forget about stressful aspects of life for a couple hours. Yes, you can do this by spending time with friends, but it is also important to have some solo hobbies just for you. I have always loved reading, and recently found that I really love painting as well. I also enjoy watching Netflix sometimes. Just remember to take part in your favorite hobby when you need it, but use it in moderation and don’t let it become a source of procrastination. At the same time, don’t feel guilty about just watching Netflix; sometimes you need it!
Texas A&M University offers access to various types of help for students when they begin feeling overwhelmed. Check out the Student Counseling Services website for information about the areas of help they offer.