How To: Survive Your Last Month of College

BY: ANDREA DINH

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When you really sit back and think about it, winding down your college career may be one of the most bittersweet moments. You think about how the next four weeks are the final push to the finish line until what seems to be an endless summer. Then it hits you; you have two projects, three papers, events, finals and whatever extra credit you can scramble up before the semester—and college—is over. What overcomes you is 90 percent stress and a small dose of momentarily suppressed happiness. But at the end of the day, what’s important is finishing out the last month of college with as much gusto and peace of mind as possible, even if your brain is scattered and filled with everything that needs to be finished in the next four weeks. The light at the end of the tunnel is so close and when you get there, it’ll be sweet!

Meanwhile, here are some real tips from a fellow almost-grad for some peace of mind before graduation day. None of that “eat well, sleep well, don’t procrastinate” crap because we all know that’s not happening anyway.

1. Go ahead and take that nap. Naps have been scientifically backed to make people happier, less stressed and improve brain functionality. Naps can help increase creativity and productivity so those power naps will help you through the next month. So you go ahead and take that nap you’ve been dying for and love yourself!

2. Have that glass of wine…or two…and some cheese and crackers too. OK, maybe a glass of wine will relieve more emotional stress than exercising will so do you and drink up. We are all so consumed with what needs to be done and how quickly and how we’re dying under the pressure that sometimes the “me” time is forgotten or seems impossible. But it is! Pick a night of the weekend to devote to a nice bubble bath or glass(es) of wine by yourself or with your friends to remind yourself that your sanity is important too! Plus, we all know that a glass of wine a day is good for the heart. <3

3. Work. It. Out. We’re all busy with huge to-do lists, but nothing (except maybe that wine from above) will relieve stress and anxiety like working out can to give your body that physical stress relief. Find something you love, whether it’s the gym or just hiking on a nice Sunday morning and go out and do it! You will feel better about yourself and your current situation.

4. Cry if you want. This speaks for itself. There are times when everything is too overwhelming to even fathom accomplishing it all. It’s OK to just let the tears flow. Imagine that silly feeling after you’re done and how much more you’ll want to finish all your tasks so you don’t waste time crying again.

5. Ask for help—you are not alone! While many may say this generation expects everything to be handed to them, this generation also consists of some of the hardest workers who don’t believe in asking for help. But ASK. You are not alone and cannot do everything on your own. When tasks allow for it, ask for help! The next month will go much more smoothly if you have a little help where you can.

6. USE YOUR PLANNER. Come on people, it’s the last month of college. Let’s break out that planner that you’re either OCD about or haven’t touched since the first week of the semester. Staying organized will make the next four weeks easier! You do NOT want to forget that make-or-break assignment that might fail you.

7. Breathe. Don’t forget to take a moment to breathe. It’s wild what three deep breaths can do for you. Whether it’s before an exam, a deadline or graduation, deep breaths in and out will do you good…for the moment at least.

8. CELEBRATE. Do your happy dance! When things are said and done, celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how big or small. It feels great to be able to cross things off a to-do list or to finish that 10-page term paper or, dare I say it…GRADUATE. Whether it was the best four or five years of your life or your worst, it’s finished. Celebrate all you’ve accomplished despite all the sweat and tears with some of the finest (or maybe $10) bubbly and just let it all soak in that you’re finally finished with college. BE HAPPY, people!

And onto the next, right?

It may seem far from your thoughts now, but really, what is next?

In the meantime, enjoy the last month of college before the “real world” creeps up on you. Take these tips, do what you need to do and enjoy yourself as best you can. Graduation is around the corner and it already tastes so sweet.