Relieving End-of-Semester Stress

We’re quickly approaching the end of the first semester of Iowa Online AP Academy classes, and for some students, this means your class is almost over. The end of classes can be quite stressful, especially with other academic responsibilities—how can you stay on top of it all? Read on for some helpful tips:

  • Organize early, reorganize often: The best way to stay on top of stress is to plan accordingly. Make a schedule that covers commitments, assignment due dates, and tests. Does one week look busier than the rest? How can you spread those responsibilities out—working ahead? Asking for extensions? Rescheduling commitments? Think ahead about ways to maximize your time during stressful periods. Also, schedules are rarely set in stone—last-minute assignments and commitments arise all the time. However, if you have a schedule created, knowing what can be moved and completed later is much easier than trying to fit in more things.
  • Prioritize responsibilities: When everything feels important, it can be really difficult to determine what to do first. If you haven’t planned ahead and a busy week is approaching, think about what comes first. Which assignments are due first? Which will take more work and need to be started sooner? Knowing where to direct your efforts early on lets you focus on the tasks at hand more quickly.
  • Account for relaxation: Even though you’re busy, don’t forget to take care of yourself! It’s easy to let work take hold at the expense of caring for yourself, but that can actually decrease productivity rather than improve it. Four things to consider when building in relaxation:
    • Getting enough sleep is crucial. Many students have such busy schedules that they sacrifice sleep in order to get things accomplished. However, getting enough sleep prevents illness and decreases stress. If you are consistently sleep-deprived, consider how you might re-prioritize sleep as an essential.
    • Take breaks. Everyone works differently, but for many people, planning small breaks can also aid productivity. Set small goals that allow for short breaks when you’ve accomplished them.
    • Exercise is a proven stress-reduction technique. If you don’t already have exercise built into your schedule, think about ways to make this part of your routine. This might be as simple as stretching during breaks.
    • Plan for fun. Once you’re finished with this stressful week, plan something to look forward to. This might be something just for you or a get together with friends, but having something to look forward to can be extra motivation to accomplish what needs to be done.

Looking for other tips? Check out:

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