Dealing with the Stress


flickr photo by Alan Cleaver

By Andrew Vazquez

We’re in the final stretch of the spring 2015 semester. Finals start on April 30, a mere twenty-three days from now. This is both exciting and terrifying. The end of the semester is a very stressful time because it seems that everything is due at the same time. Nevertheless, there are several things you can do to reduce stress during this period. The Mayo Clinic offers four tips that they have coined as the “4 A’s.” These stand for Avoid, Alter, Accept, and Adapt.

Avoid, according to the Mayo Clinic, means to plan ahead better. If you have a deadline, start it earlier than you normally would to ensure that you finish in time. Being able to complete tasks with enough time will help reduce stress because you will not feel as rushed. This tip is especially helpful when studying for finals. Don’t wait to start studying for finals too late.

Alter means to avoid negative things in your life. Identify the things that make you stressed and figure out why they make you stressed. You cannot change some things, but make the best out of them. When studying for finals don’t think to yourself that a topic is too tough and that you can’t learn it. Instead, flip it and use it as a motivator to learn it better.

The next tip is to accept the things you cannot change. Dwelling on things that cannot be changed is counterproductive because, well, you cannot change it. Instead focus on the positive things that you can control and you will be less stressed. You can’t change the grade you got in Contracts or Property last semester, but you can do better this semester. Learn from those mistakes and you’ll do better this time around.

The final tip the Mayo Clinic suggests is to adapt. Keep your expectations reasonable and keep the big picture in focus. This is important because if you focus too closely on the minute details of one particular subject, it will be to the detriment of everything else. Keep everything in focus.

Additional suggestions that I would add is to remember to keep up with friends and family. Moreover, make time to go out and have fun, like going to see a movie or a Braves game (although that may more frustrating and stressful than school).

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