Advice for Awkward People

Dear Michelle,

These past few weeks have probably been the most stressful of the year for me, and I’m ready to pass out. I’ve had to deal with job applications and interviews, midterms, and lots of homework (still!). I haven’t really found time for myself, but I have been able to spend a little bit of time with my friends. And yet, even when I hang out with them I don’t feel my happiest because I still have all my worries about school and jobs in the back of my mind. I don’t know what to do - I want to be happy with both my friends and myself, but I feel like all the stress from school has basically taken over my life. Please give me some advice on how to deal with this.

Starting To Realize Even School Sometimes Is Not Great


There’s always a point in the semester when the work and stress hit you all at once, and everything in your life seems to be falling apart. And the only way you think you can deal with this is to devote all your time and energy into your work. Please know that this approach to work in college isn’t uncommon and that so many people are feeling and doing the exact same things. Especially at our school, there are lots students who let their work consume their entire lives. Know that your life in college doesn’t have to be like this, even though it may seem like it’s that way for everyone else around you. Your work is important, your health is just as (if not more) important.

What can help is to catch yourself at the moment when you start to feel like you’re not yourself and you’re not happy. Once you’ve done that, just stop and take a deep breath. Think about the things that make you most happy, and even write them down if want! The idea here is that you should take time to reflect on your priorities and how you want to mentally move forward; you need to make sure that the next steps you take will not lead you to eventually burn out. After doing this, try gradually setting aside time each week to do the things that really make you happy. We all need that constant reminder that our work does not define us and that in the end, our true goal is to be happy and satisfied with our life. Be sure to keep that in mind.

Hope this helps!