21 year old advice

by: Lou Stein

Being the wise and mature 21 year old that I am, I have reached the blissful state of Nirvana where stress is no longer a chronic issue. Despite life’s curve-balls and lemons, I am able to maintain a sense of calm and assuredness like never before. Because of this security, I am often approached by distressed underclassmen who are unfamiliar with managing the chaos that comes this time of year. Allow me to summarize one such interaction:

“Lou, I am panicking! How am I supposed to get all of my homework done, prepare for Loras Legacy, and manage end-of-year events with my clubs and activities?” exclaims generic underclassmen A.

“Yeah, I barely made it through last semester – what am I supposed to do now that I’m taking harder classes?” adds generic underclassmen B.

To which I give the enlightened advice:
Listen guys, I know exactly how to handle this. First, we need to identify the problem. What you are doing is worrying about what is to come and getting caught in that spiral, instead of accomplishing what’s before you. If you keep focusing on your assignments too far in advance, you will become too stressed to function, and lose sight of the bigger picture. Take a minute now to think about what your individual purpose here is. Know that if you thought of anything other than ‘getting a degree’ you are wrong. With this goal in mind we can now start getting rid of your stress.

The next step is to make a prioritized list of everything that you need to accomplish. Make sure to include all assignments, club events and group projects. Also include all of your meal times between now and the end of the semester as well as when to shower- these are important because underclassmen tend to forget these. Making a full list of everything you need to do may seem like you’re back at the first problem but believe me when I say this is different: now there’s a list.

With your list in front of you, you can now start working down the list systematically. You will be amazed at how rewarding it is to check off completed items. But beware of burnout. Many underclassmen also make the mistake of just doing the things they need to at the cost of their mental health. To counter this, I recommend watching Netflix in between every item on your list. If you’re worried about getting sucked into binge watching a show instead of completing  your assignments switch to watching movies instead.

Some people will find themselves following a list, yet still not having the time necessary to get everything done in time. In this scenario, it’s important not to panic. Simply cram your assignments into one time slot on your list and power through them like the multitasking beast you are. If you find that the quality of your work is suffering from this, fret not. After all, C’s get degrees.

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