Health Corner: Organize your Schoolwork

BY Mackenzie Parker
For the UAS Whalesong

Stress can slow you down in many aspects of your life. As a student, it can affect your schoolwork. How you can reduce stress in your life is by changing small actions that you do as a student. Here are five suggestions:

1. Keep only your assignment in front of you
When you keep your work area tidy, you will concentrate better, because your brain will not be distracted by the other papers around your current assignment.  When your area is less cluttered your mind will be too.

2. Prioritize your assignments
Prioritize your homework assignments from least critical to most. Once you have prioritized, begin with your hardest homework first. When you start with your most difficult homework first, you will feel more at ease as you go through your other assignments. Your stress levels will decrease because you will no longer dread completing that Chemistry lab; instead, you will be much more relaxed in knowing the worst is over.

3. If you find yourself in a rut, create a game
If, while doing your difficult homework, you find yourself losing focus, take a five minute break. Once the break is over, come back and set a timer for 15 minutes to work on your assignment. Once the 15 minutes are over, reward yourself. By shortening the time spent on assignments, you can concentrate better, knowing that you only have to do so for 15 minutes.

4. Change your study location
A simple change of scenery can affect your stress levels. By studying in a new setting, your brain is more stimulated and can perform better. Try an area by a window or somewhere with warm lighting. If you find your thoughts becoming more stressed even in this new location, assess what could be the culprit. Is it the lighting? Is it your chair? Often these simple everyday objects can cause you to feel uncomfortable without you realizing it. Be aware of your surroundings and choose your new study location wisely.

5. Ask for help
If you still feel overwhelmed with your assignments, step back and assess why. If it’s a case of you don’t understand the material, ask help from a classmate or go to the Learning Center. If it’s a matter of completing your assignment last minute, then learn from your stressful experience and do not wait until the last minute again.

By following these five suggestions you can drastically cut back your stress levels as a student which will lead to a healthier mind. Don’t let stress slow you down. If, after these suggestions, you still feel overwhelmed, please make an appointment at the Student Resource Center with UAS Counselors Margie Thompson or Becky Iverson.

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