By Tania Bureau Contributing Writer
College is challenging when students balance studying, practicing sports, working and getting eno
ugh sleep at night. Gavin Pickering, a counselor at UMF, said that while it is important to set times and make schedules, it’s also smart to take breaks and spend time with friends.
“It is important for students to take one thing at a time and not try to multitask,” said Pickering in an email. “Think of yourself as capable to get the work done, and don’t overwhelm yourself. Focus on one thing at a time.”
Two students at UMF dealing with busy schedules and the stress of college life are Joseph Ashby, a freshman, and Charlotte Allard, a sophomore.
Ashby is still adjusting to college. “It is extremely overwhelming,” said Ashby. “Especially playing a varsity sport and having to juggle to get my 16 credits and having three hours of practice everyday.” Ashby is working to find strategies to help with the busy workload. “If I am not in class, I am doing homework and if I am not doing homework or in class, I’m playing soccer,” said Ashby. “I’m always doing schoolwork.”
Both Ashby and Allard have come up with some strategies to help with stress and a busy schedule. Ashby goes to a math tutor through Johnson Scholars, and Allard goes to tutors to have papers read with a fresh pair of eyes.
Allard strives to be organized, making a list of everything that needs to get done, and goes to the library to do homework. Allard finds that writing her notes color-coded also helps with studying.
Allard has found that it helps her to take a short break. “…[During a stressful time] I did something other than homework. I got away from that specific thing and when I came back to it I reread what I had, and it was like, ‘oh, there’s my mistake.’”
Allard also has strategies to unwind. “I stress out myself so bad. When I am mentally stressed and overwhelmed I write in a journal,” said Allard. “I will just like word vomit all of my thoughts, everything I am thinking and throw it on paper and I can get back to what I am doing because my mind is clear.”
Pickering emphasizes that students need to focus on the positives while studying. “Celebrate the work that you accomplish also think about how you will feel when the homework is complete,” said Pickering. “Try to get excited about a task. It gets rid of the voice that says, ‘I don’t wanna,’ which is often the reason work goes undone.”
If you’re struggling with the stress college life brings, you can make an appointment at Counseling Services by go online to the Counseling Service Page on the UMF website, or call 207-778-7034.