Stress Relief Tip #3: Minimizing Stress And Starting This Semester Off Right

With the start of each new year we make new goals, resolutions and standards for ourselves. For many of us as students, myself included, we tend to set academic goals such as doing all our pre-reading and attending all our classes. But often with the onset of midterm season our patterns of productivity and organization tend to fade as a result of heightened stress levels. So, here are some personal tips for keeping your cool under the pressure of academics, and how to make this semester your best yet. 
Buy a Planner
First off, go to the UBC Bookstore, Staples or Chapters and buy yourself an agenda or a huge desk calendar or get to work plugging dates into your iCal. If you can organize your calendar for this semester early, then you will be aware of what is coming up and you won’t miss anything out. Be sure to write down all midterm and term paper dates, even go through and write your weekly readings into the calendar. This way, everything is all in one place and very easily accessible. Additionally, this may help you avoid those moments when you realize your biggest midterm is just around the corner. Using some form of calendar will help you gauge how much time you have to study, write, read, etc.
Get organized, now
If you are able to get organized and on track at this early stage in the semester you will be more likely to start off fresh and continue these ways throughout the semester. Simple ways to get organized can include cleaning your room, organizing your books and school work, or finding a new way to keep track of all your course readings. If you can master some form of organization in your life this will help to minimize stress and with a clutter free and less chaotic life style, you can start off what may be your best semester yet. Taking a half day to take a step back and organize certain aspects of your life can save you time in the grand scheme of things and lead to a less chaotic outlook on this semester.
Establishing a reasonable sleep pattern can help you get the much needed rest we need as students, be more productive and thus, minimize the effects of stress. The most valuable hours of sleep are between 10pm and 2am, so aim to take advantage of these and get at least some of these important hours in. More sleep or a more stable sleeping pattern can help you create balance in your life and generally, feel more rested and able to go about your day. Instead of staying up until 3am to work on a project or study for an exam then sleeping until noon the next day, try hitting the sack closer to 11 than waking up around 8. You will feel more energetic, more productive and this will help to keep your stress at bay.
So there they are, personal tips for getting this semester off to a great start. As hard is it may be to establish routine and maintain some organization in your life it will pay off in the long run. So make this your semester for organization and the marks you’ve always wanted. Good luck, UBC!

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