It’s 6:45 in the morning and you’re sluggish to get up as your alarm clock blares. Eyes half closed, you practically sleepwalk to get your laptop for a quick dexterity check in preparation to hit ‘submit.’
You were awake not that long ago, finishing up homework and planning for the chaotic week ahead.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this upcoming week, students will go through these motions to register for classes.
Twice a year, the anxiety of not getting the classes we want creeps up on us. This time around, the stress of registration coincides with a hectic time of year.
Some students are in the midst of exams while applying to internships and preparing for job interviews. To top it off, they also face the social pressures that come with Rivalry Week. The holidays are around the corner, and while they often signify family and cheer, some might be returning home to less-than-ideal circumstances.
In principle and in reality, students can become easily overwhelmed with the idea that their lives in college mimic a ‘balancing act.’ We all strive to balance academics, extracurriculars, professional aspirations and a social life to the best of our abilities.
During this time of year, these quadrants of our lives may clash with one another and can reach an unforeseen pinnacle that causes stress. In simpler terms, it’s the time of the year when the semester starts to slip away.
As students, we are pulled in many directions, so it is important to find the things that keep us grounded.
With parents’ weekend coming up, taking time out of our busy lives to see siblings, parents or relatives is a much-needed break from the constant balancing act that encompasses life at Lehigh.
Families come from near and far, and taking the time to really enjoy their presence can go a long way, regardless of exams early next week or the desire to go out during the weekend.
For those whose homes are across the country, live internationally or don’t have any family members coming to visit, there are other ways to find solace during this high-stress time. Getting off-campus to explore, going on a hike or seeing a movie with friends are only some ways to relax.
Pressure will boil up, but it’s crucial to find peace from the whirlwind of stressors. Be ready to refuse.
It’s OK to refuse going out one night — or all of them. It’s OK to refuse studying until 1 a.m. in order to get enough sleep. It’s OK if you don’t get your first pick for classes and it’s OK if you receive a job rejection.
It’s OK to encounter drawbacks in all areas of life. The important thing, however, is to remember you are not alone. You will get through this difficult time alongside other students who are more than likely feeling the same way.
Utilize on-campus resources when you feel overwhelmed by the balancing act. Counseling & Psychological Services, Academic Life & Student Transitions and professors’ office hours are just a few opportunities to connect with someone who cares.
It’s important not to let our control slip away, and to remember to stay grounded as best we can, in order to enjoy college to the fullest potential.