Friday, August 26, 2011

Overwhelmed? Help dealing with the start of the semester.

I just finished my first week of teaching in the new semester and I could see in various classes that many students feel overwhelmed with the work that awaits. If you are one of those students, here are some strategies to deal with this feeling:

1. Take a deep breath and slow down. Feeling overwhelmed can make us feel frantic and that feeds the anxiety. It's a vicious circle. So, slow down, and pause for a moment.

2. Think of another time when you have felt overwhelmed or anxious about keeping up with work -- chances are you got through it. Remember that success -- the memory will remind you that you can do it.

3. Get organized. Note all of your due dates on a calendar. This will help you distinguish what you need to do right away, what you need to plan for (selecting a topic for a paper, ordering an additional book, etc.), and what you really don't need to think about yet.

4. Now focus on the next week. What is due next week? Focus on the short term and try to put your anxieties about end-of-semester projects and papers on hold. Take it one step at a time, do what needs to be done each week.

You can do this, my friends!

Photo by HLS

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