Early Semester Overwhelm?

Early Semester Overwhelm

Post #58 October Overwhelm

It seems like your semester has only begun – so why do you feel so overwhelmed already?  Between classes, activities, social time and sleeping time, your schedule has somehow become overloaded.  Read this post along with Post #9 to help yourself get a grip.  You are not the only one who suffers from early semester overwhelm.


Step 1

My first piece of advice for you is to prioritize and constrain.  Sounds easy enough, but have you actually taken a look at the necessary to-dos.  If it helps to write it out, start by making a list of non-negotiables that must be achieved during the semester.  These would include basic activities like showing up to each and every class; completing every homework assignment; utilizing office hours, etc.   Filter out the noise around you because there is a lot.  Everybody is bombarding you with invitations, meetups, callouts and other temptations.  Remember, those kinds of activities are secondary.  As an engineering student, first thing’s first – your academics.  Prioritize and constrain your time to the actions that will get you a return on your time investment.

Step 2

My second piece of advice to help with early semester overwhelm is to commit to yourself.  After you have completed Step 1, after you have captured all necessary requirements, commit.  This includes filtering out all the temptations around you.  Committing to yourself means working toward long term gratification by sacrificing the short term.  Learn how to say no to peer pressure if others try to pull you away from your commitments.  I’m not implying this is an easy thing to do.  Part of learning and part of life includes knowing your limitations and setting boundaries for yourself.

Figure Out

Step 3

My third piece of advice for you is to stop telling yourself how overwhelmed you are.  The more you tell yourself anything, whether negative or positive, the more you will believe it.  Over time, your thoughts and beliefs gain momentum.  Then, you live from a mental space of believing these thoughts whether they are self-serving or self-destructive.  Please don’t tell yourself you are overwhelmed.  You can maximize your time if you get to working on something instead of dwelling.  Tell yourself you have a brain that will help you manage your list.  Tell yourself you know how to figure things out.  With some creative thinking, you can challenge yourself to be resourceful.

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