Avoiding the Stress of a New Semester: Starting the New Year Out Right

Welcome to 2011! Hopefully you had an awesome holiday (or are lucky enough to still be on yours). 2011 is finally here and for some reason this brings a clean slate in whatever you feel needs to be changed. I know a few friends that have already decided on a couple of New Year’s resolutions and honestly, they do not sound like they are the best ideas on the face of the planet.  For example, getting completely smashed every single weekend of the next term is not a good goal to live up to. Just because you have breaks in between classes during the week does not mean that this is a brilliant idea.

With 2011 comes the beginning of a new semester and the opportunity to make some serious changes in your academics and overall college/university experience. If you are like me then you most likely have the tendency to avoid writing your essays/assignments until the last night creating mass panic and sleep deprivation. To avoid this, draw out a plan as soon as possible. If you can do it the night the essay is assigned then good for you. Set goals for each day: for example, “Finish working thesis for (insert date here).” Complete your research early and if you work on it consistently no essay should feel like a daunting task.

Since I am in the process of transitioning between schools it might be easy for me to say this, but try and integrate a workout once or twice a week into your schedule. If you remember one of my early posts about health then you may recall that light exercise can be a great way to reduce stress levels and keep you healthy. It also can’t hurt to work off any of those holiday meals that have been going since Thanksgiving. By doing this you can also take advantage of your student fees. If it’s not free to use your school’s fitness facilities then it should at least be discounted.

If you apply my tips for writing an essay to your studying, practice etc. then you might find you more free time on your hands. You could use this time to sleep or you could join a club, go out and explore without the stress of school looming over you or check out other events that might be happening on your campus.

Get yourself organized early. Figure how best to use the time between your classes. Make sure you have a hole punch available to use so handouts don’t get (pun intended) out of hand. Keep your notes neat and rewrite them if you feel it’s necessary. Starting off right means you’ll be more prepared for whatever the year has to throw at you.

Anyway, along with being back in the office for another two days, I am working on revamping my resume. You know, just updating due to the fact that I now actually have job experience. Question is, how much of my volunteering should I include now that I have legitimate work experience to fill space? (Not that face painting at a fun festival at my old elementary school isn’t legitimate work experience. A kid wanted a block of cheese painted on his face once. That’s a lot of work.) No matter. I’m lucky enough to have this website as a great resource so that this time around, my resume might actually get me an interview.

Wish me luck. I’m aiming for The Apple Store. I feel like I belong there.

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