The beginning of a new semester comes with a return to time management, a heavy workload, and rotating obligations. Impending deadlines and mounting assignments are already starting to stir up familiar feelings of stress for a lot of students, and we’re still in the first month of school. A USA Today study showed that over a quarter of students feel stress has “negatively affected their academic performance,” with 85% indicating that at some point they felt overwhelmed by all of their responsibilities.

Yet with all of this, there are ways to counter the semester stress:

  • Make thoughtful choices about academic and extracurricular activities.
  • Determine whether you are making use of campus resources.
  • Don’t procrastinate.
  • Eat well, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep.
  • Leave time for yourself.

These are things our parents and friends tell us. These are the things we try to tell ourselves. And we should take our own advice…

But here I am, it’s 11:30pm and I need to be up at 5am for work. I didn’t finish the paper I tried to start today, or the reading that needs to be done by this evening. I didn’t take the dog for a walk, and I definitely didn’t make it to the gym. But I did the dishes, cleaned the living room, and read half of the reading I needed to finish. I handled some paperwork, and celebrated one year of living in my townhouse. And I managed to binge-watch two seasons of Wentworth.

At the end of the day, I do the best I can. But choosing to be okay with what I did get done is what makes it possible for me to make a new list and start again tomorrow… after I get home from work.