VP Internal: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Surviving Post-Hell Week

Teresa Lumini - VP Internal
Posted on: June 19, 2016

Hey hey hey!

Hope everyone completed midterms fairly unscathed.  Now it is time to recover from all the mental exhaustion with Mental Health Awareness Week.  During this week, we will be running events to help blow off that post-exam steam such as Finger Painting, a Euchre Tournament, and for the first time in a long time, reviving on-term SCUNT!

Mental Health-Work-Play Balance

We all know that engineering is a lot of work, with a lot of tight deadlines, challenging content to learn, and labs and projects to get done.  But let’s not forget that there is more to your time here than just studying.  Yes, it is very important if you want to succeed, but if that is all you do, and not taking time for yourself now and then you are doing yourself a disservice.  Everyone will tell you to find a good work-play balance, but no one actually tells you how to do that.  So I’m going to take this article to talk about some of the ways other people have found this balance to try and help you out if you are struggling to find that balance like I have.

Let’s start with the work-half of this balance, because, honestly, it will be a lot of your time.  In the beginning, it’s fairly easy to plan out your time when you don’t have any labs, projects or assignments, since focusing on one course a day is typically enough for review or studying.  Once those projects, midterms, and labs reports start tumbling in a landslide-esque fashion this is can be trickier to get a hold on.  For me personally, when they start piling up, I pull out my calendar and take a look at when everything is due, then, if possible, focus on one thing a night with the goal of getting it done and just steadily start knocking things off the list until I’ve completed everything.  Remember, university is a marathon, not a sprint.  Now sometimes projects are too big to accomplish in one night so break it down into smaller, more manageable components and make goals for completing those components.  Again, sometimes this isn’t the easiest thing in the world as our projects here are pretty challenging and that’s when you start reaching out to friends and classmates for help.  There is no shame is getting help when you need it.

Now for the play portion of this programming.  Basically, make sure you have something that you like doing to take your mind away from work every once in a while, and by once in a while, I mean at least once a week.  This can be absolutely anything you want like video games, Netflix, maybe you play a sport or a musical instrument.  Just make sure it’s something that you like and take a day off from studying and do that thing.  Make sure you also take at least an hour a day where you just relax and not look at any work.  In the wise words of Tom Hatherford: Treat yo’ self.