Life @ U of T

Introduction

3 Things I Do When Feeling Overwhelmed By School

3 Things I Do When Feeling Overwhelmed By School

I’m seriously starting to wonder whether all my professors are colluding to make my third year as overwhelming as possible. We’re only a month into school and I’ve already handed in a gross amount of assignments and essays. The fact that I’ve started counting down the days until the holiday break is probably not a good sign.

School is just incredibly overwhelming and COVID-19 hasn’t made things any better. Anybody who says otherwise is a truly unconvincing liar. As a result, I’ve developed a list of activities that I’ve found helpful whenever I’m feeling anxious about school.

1. Journal

picture of Grace's journal

Experts say that journalling brings with it a whole ton of health benefits. Not only do you feel less stress and anxiety when you journal, but research shows that writing regularly improves your communication skills. Those health benefits, however, are not the reason why I journal.

I journal because I have to — it’s the only way I can make sense of my messy and chaotic mind and put a pause on my thoughts which are always running at thirty kilometers an hour. I love the process and the beauty of turning chaos into order and journalling is exactly that for me.

2. Re-watch My Favourite Television Shows

Sometimes, the best thing that I can do for my mental health and wellbeing is to turn on Netflix. While re-watching my favourite television show rarely boosts my grades, it does boost my spirits when I’m feeling low.

There’s something about getting lost in a good soap opera from Spain or spending the afternoon laughing at a funny reality television show. For me, it can be easy to get wrapped up in school and forget about my hobbies and interests outside of academics. For that reason, I’ll often treat myself to one of my favourite tv shows after a long afternoon of studying.

3. Talk Back To My Imposter Syndrome & Perfectionism

If I’m being honest, the most stressful part of school is the crazy-high standard of success that I hold myself to. My perfectionism is fueled by my imposter syndrome, a deeply ingrained fear of being a fraud. I guess I’m afraid that I secretly lack the skills to achieve great things and that I’ve convinced people that I’m smarter than I am. So, I end up spending unnecessary time stressing about doing each and every little thing, perfectly.

Thankfully, I’m starting to learn how to talk back to myself. When I start to procrastinate my assignments, I remind myself that I don’t have to complete every assignment perfectly. Being a student means you’re learning and it’s okay to not have all of the answers.

All in all, school is an incredibly rewarding endeavour. It can also feel like a minefield. I’m slowly learning, however, that taking time to care for myself is an unnegotiable priority, and I’m honestly thankful to have learned this important lesson now rather than later.

Grace on the university of toronto campus

2 comments on “3 Things I Do When Feeling Overwhelmed By School

  1. Great post, Grace! I totally agree with you on journalling- there’s something calming about putting your thoughts on paper 🙂

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