Queen's University Logo
IMPORTANT NOTICE Up-to-date COVID-19 information Click Here

Remembering to breathe

By Monica O’Rourke, 3rd-year Concurrent Education (English/History) student

If you’re anything like me, by now you’ve realized that the month of March is not kind to students as all of a sudden the assignments that you’ve conveniently forgot about all semester are showing up in bright red. It seems that all the work we were most definitely, 100% going to do over reading week didn’t just disappear as we hoped it would and instead they came back with friends. Freaking out over the amount of work and hitting Club Stauff until the early morning is one ineffective solution to your problem, but it can sometimes seem like the only option.

While it’s easy to panic and reach for the nearest brown paper bag to breathe into, there is hope out there. So put down the fourth cup of coffee, remember that this happened to other adults who are now successful and instead employ some strategies that will help all of us get out of the month of March alive.

One of the most important things to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work on your plate in March, is to breathe. It seems simple but gaining much needed perspective from that single deep breathe is sometimes the hardest thing to do. Breathing deeply in and out is probably one of the simplest and most relaxing things that a person can do when they’re stressed and it only takes a few minutes. Once you do this, you’ll find that it’s easier to gain the all-important perspective that will allow you to accomplish all of the assignments that you have due in March.

Don’t sell yourself short — believe that you can get through this month. If you’re an upper year, remember that this happens every year and not only are you still standing, you’re still here attending Queen’s so you’re doing something right. If you’re in first year, look to the upper years or even your parents or older siblings for inspiration, if they went to post-secondary school (and in your parents’ case, maybe even without the benefits of Google!).

I know that whenever I get into the downward spiral of panic that comes with looking at my March calendar the first thing I do is organize all of my assignments and notes. This can mean different things for different people- I write out when they’re due in my organizer and then put more detailed sticky notes on my laptop so I get a reminder every time I open it. However, you may do something different which is totally okay! It’s up to you to figure out what works and go with it. Organization and those calming breathes will bring your stress level down immensely and allow you to remember that it’s only one month and you can get through it.

If you’re not sure how to start your organization journey, our online resources can help. These range from worksheets with strategies such as time management to workshops and one on one professional advising. Use all the sources you can to maintain your mental health during the month of the March. Because the only March Madness you should be experiencing this month is the basketball tournament on TV.

“Breathe” photo courtesy of Mae Chevrette under Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license 2.0. “Study break” photo courtesy of Brett Beall. Gif courtesy of reactiongifs.com.