Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Some Humble Observations On Stress...

As I begin my second year at college, I find myself slightly older and wiser than I was as a poor, confused Freshman. Emphasis should be on the world "slightly." It seems that in times of stress, I keep on making the same counter-productive mistakes as I did last year. The only upside is that I'm aware of them now. :-) Here are a few humble observations of my behavior (and the behavior of those around me) when that lovely little subject of stress comes up.

1. Professors are knowingly and incontrovertibly in an evil alliance to assign all quizzes, tests, and major papers during the same exact week. This cannot be avoided no matter what professors you pick. Even the ones you thought were cool (because they were younger and perhaps only went by their first name, which was something usually along the lines of "Mark" or "Jenny") are in on this conspiracy.

2. The ability to read and comprehend a boring textbook chapter is directly proportional to the comfort level of the furniture being sat on while reading. For example, reading while on a plushy couch or warm bed is a recipe for immediate failure (also known as sleep). For best results, try to procure a bed of nails as the designated "reading chair."

3. Daily check-lists are only as good as their makers. For example, leaving certain key assignments off a check-list, while including such items as "Make sure to take a nap," goes against the point.

4. Being involved in 500+ student organizations is all well and good, and it certainly will look good on a resume. However, one of the goals of college is surviving to the point where one will be able to actually write a resume. Premature deaths due to heart attacks, strokes, or being buried in paperwork should be avoided at all costs, and the risk of these untimely ends goes up with each extracurricular activity.

5. Under no circumstance is the Internet your friend. Even when you're supposed to be doing research, the Internet is not your friend. Sure, you may think you'll be able to just log on to the Oxford English Dictionary website quickly and then get off, but that won't happen. First you'll say that a quick stop to Facebook couldn't hurt, then it will be MySpace, then Yahoo, then AIM, and before you know it you'll end up watching Britney's bad VMA performance for the 20th time on YouTube.

Just some things I've noticed... And yes, I should be doing homework right now.


Eric said...

And don't forget, that the amount of time you spend on Facebook, MySpace, et al, is directly inversely proportional to the amount of time you spend on actual research.

I can't count how many laps I've done walking around bookcases in the library trying to stay awake while reading something. Particularly this past summer while reading macroeconomics. ARGH!!!!!

Shawn Pendergrass said...

hey. linked to your blog from a mutual friend's. just curious if i know you on GCN (i'm inhisname22 on there). also wondering where you go to college. i went to gardner-webb.

drop me a line at

John said...

Very true list, especially the first one on that list for me. I'm in my sophomore year too, and this week, I had three tests, a handful of programming assignments, and a French assignment and a French quiz. I ended up having four nights this week where I only got about 4-5 hours of sleep (although one was because I was keeping my potentially concussed roommate awake, and the other was because I was on a religious retreat).

Jay said...

Eric: Macroeconomics? You think that's hard. Try "Teacher, School, and Society." Zzzz...

Shawn: Mmmm, I don't get to GCN much, so I'm not sure if I know you or not. I'm "Jay in NC" there, I think. I go to UNC-W.

John: Wow, you really need to work on getting more sleep! Homework is all well and good but a good night's rest means so much more. Time management is really one of the most impossible things to achieve in college, though.