Life can be stressful, especially when you're trying to balance a full-time college course load, a job, and a social life. I get it, believe me, because I work a minimum of 30 hours a week, hold 15 credits, and attempt to go out with friends and so on. How I manage all of the stress? Well, I'm going to tell you!
College, undergraduate or graduate, is stressful. There are midterm exams, papers, presentations, and so on. The average college student has to take 15 credits a semester (five classes) in order to graduate in four years which means five midterm exams, five finals, at least two papers or assignments due a week, and so on. Just school alone can give someone a mental breakdown, I've seen it happen to those carrying 18 or more credits in a semester.
What I've come to realize is scheduling time out for me to handle projects, papers, homework assignments, and so on is crucial. Sundays and Wednesdays I do my work for the week. I carve out about three to four hours each day to ensure I've written whatever papers are due, completed whatever assigned homework, or brushed up on topics for a quiz or test. This method of having certain days and time frames allows me to not feel the weight of everything that needs to be completed because I know I have the time to do so.
Money is important, we cannot survive without it! I love money, thus me being willing to work overtime and work more like 35-40 hours a week, but I also realize what my limit is. If I know I have three papers due the following week and an exam I won't work extra and instead allow myself to have time to study, write the papers, and what have you. Life is a balance and that is really important to remember. Also, I don't work a high stress job. Sometimes the balancing of the schedules for the two boys (remember I'm a householder manager/nanny/personal assistant) can make me feel frazzled but I don't normally have to stress about not making enough money to pay my phone bill or working until midnight, I'm usually home by 10:30 the latest!
I suppose my advice for handling work stress is to, if you can, control your environment. Can you tutor and work with people you choose to? If so, do it! Can you talk to your manager about setting up a specific schedule that allows for your to make enough money to handle your needs while still not overwhelming you? Do it! Can you maybe stock shelves instead of working the cash register dealing with surly people? Once again, do it! Try to work around stress factors for where you work and it will be a big step forward for you.
I noticed a few months back I had no social life to speak of outside of going food shopping with my grandmother. While I love my grandmother more than anyone on this planet outside of my mother, I realized that needed to change. In order to avoid not seeing my friends and feeling like I had no social life I began planning things in advance. For instance, I planned brunch for the first Saturday of November with a friend and made reservations at the restaurant and planned dinner for the First Sunday in November. These plans are with two different people but they were made at the beginning of October.
How do I plan so far ahead? I use my digital calendar to mark everything down. I talk with my friends about what weekdays and weekend days they have free and begin booking things. Sometimes you have to book things a few weeks in advance but that is more than okay! With how fast-paced life is a little structure can go a long way. Also, booking in advance saves you the trouble of having to figure things out on the fly which means less stress overall.