Back into the stress of things

Many college students talk about syllabus week and how it’s a relaxing, carefree joke. Not so much for me. I jumped back into it and had homework before class even started. I’ve now survived the first week of my final undergrad semester, and the whole week was one long panic attack. Sigh.

For my capstone class, I’m working as an editor at Vox magazine, which is published through the journalism school. I’m an editor for the Books and Endnotes departments, which is what I wanted, so I’m very excited, but it’s also overwhelming. We have a nearly hour-by-hour schedule of the week for deadlines, drafts, meetings, shifts and production. It’s going to be a great experience, but it will definitely take some getting used to.

I’m also taking an infographics class, for which I’m a graphics designer at the Columbia Missourian, the newspaper published through the journalism school. In addition to the class, I spend a day or two a week at the graphics desk, so there’s some more big chunks of my week. Add to that my other classes, jobs, activities and maybe sleep or a social life, and I’ve got a pretty booked schedule.

So I was freaking out Tuesday night as I looked through my syllabuses and looked at my calendar and tried to figure out how it’s all going to fit. There was just too much. But now that I’ve made it through the first week and begun the process of things settling into place, I know I’m going to be ok. The first few days I had so much thrown at me that I felt like I was running in eight different directions, but it’s all coming together.

Basically, I’m the kind of person who needs to figure out my routine and get organized in order to feel in control. And until that’s done, I’m going to be stressing big time. So, yes, my stress is somewhat self-inflicted, but it’s just how I operate. I realize I turned myself into a ball of nerves, perhaps unnecessarily, this week, but I can’t help it. Now that all the dust is starting to settle, I’m getting a sense of what my life’s going to look like the next few months, and although it’s stressful, I know it’s going to work.

Moral of the story? I shouldn’t freak myself out so much, but I also know myself well enough to know that it’s unavoidable. I’m prone to feeling overwhelmed when a lot is thrown at me at once, even if I do know I can handle it. Because I also know myself well enough to know that I can handle a lot. A lot a lot. Which is what this semester’s going to be, but it’s also going to be a lot a lot of fun. I’m so very excited about my classes because they’re right in line with what I want to be doing in the future.

So I’ll just take a deep breath, regroup this weekend, and dive right back in on Monday. Bring it on.


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