It’s all coming down at once: the assignments, club meetings, deadlines, exams, expectations. It’s too much to fit in my planner, in my waking hours, or even in my mind. The pressure builds and the fear that I may not be able to handle it all simmers underneath the surface of my calm composure.
I. Am. Stressed. Out.
And what is at that root of it all? It’s not the assignments or the grades or the deadlines. For me, it’s my fear of losing control of what I can and cannot do. This fear grows exponentially in the back of my mind as my obligations start to compound and my time to meet these obligations shrinks.
Usually, I respond to this stress by working harder, staying up later, and completely disregarding anything that takes time away from completing all my work (mostly, anything fun). This seems like the right thing to do. After all, once I’ve knocked out everything that I am stressed about, my problems are solved, right?
At least, I used to think so. However, lately I have been thinking more and more about all the “unnecessary” activities that I push aside in my endless quest to get things done and what I am missing by giving these things up.
In a lecture series that I recently attended called “Two Guys On Your Head” given by Dr. Robert Duke and Dr. Art Markman, one of the speakers mentioned how studies show that individuals who take time out of each day to do something they enjoy rather than wait for the weekend or their next vacation are more satisfied than those who do the opposite. When I think about it, this makes sense. While it’s true that having endless work mounted up and waiting for me is stressful, it’s even more stressful when I can’t see the end. I can either deal with that by working furiously until I reach the light at the end of the tunnel (my figurative weekend) or I can choose to make the work end for now and take some time to enjoy myself.
I think this is something we should all keep in mind as finals loom and assignments pile up.
After all, there will always be more work to do, but when will we ever get the chance to watch Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation for free at the Union again?