A window inside life at Augustana College

Three weeks, three papers, oh my!

Before this term, I’ve never had to focus on more than one major paper at a time. It always just happened (luckily, I suppose) that only one of my classes assigned a paper as a midterm or a final. One paper, even it’s 8-10 pages, is quite manageable. This term, I have three due at the end of term… and that’s making me a little nervous.

One paper for Sociology (10-12 pages), one paper for Honors (8-10 pages), one “paper” for Creative Writing (10-12 pages).

Now, deep down I know that I manage my time pretty well and that I will write these papers and get them done, and probably be pretty happy with them. But I’m just the kind of person that stresses out about things before I start doing them.


So, here are a couple of tips and tricks to manage your stress if you’re like me:

1. Make lists

Sometimes, instead of churning things around in our head, thinking “Oh my goodness, I have to do this, and this, and this, and this… oh my god, how am I going to get it all done?” it’s better to write it all down. You won’t constantly think you’ve forgotten something, and it gives you a great feeling of accomplishment to cross things off.

I actually put everything I want to do on my list, even things I want to do for fun. That helps  me prioritize. “If  I haven’t done enough of what I want to accomplish, I might not be able to watch that movie” and so on.

2. Set manageable deadlines

You’ve probably heard this one before, but trust me, it really works. Instead of thinking “Ah! I have to write ten pages by Tuesday next week,” it helps me to set myself smaller goals–“Ok, I’ll write two pages today.” I feel like I’ve accomplished something, and if I have a plan, I don’t get bogged down thinking “How am I going to write thirty pages in three weeks?”

3. Don’t forget to have fun!

This might sound a little counterintuitive if you have all this work that you need to get done. But I always think that forty-five minutes of well-rested work is better than an hour of tired, stressed out work.

So take breaks, and reward yourself. By reward yourself, I don’t mean write three sentences and then watch an entire season of your favorite TV show. That’s a little bit too much of a reward. But maybe write for an hour and then spend 15-20 minutes of Facebook. You figure it out.


Well, hopefully this will help someone out there! With rush (formal and informal) on top of everything else, the end of winter term can be stressful… So, take a deep breath and then plunge right in!

One Response to “Three weeks, three papers, oh my!”

  1. Another great post, Ruki!

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