Advice for Awkward People

Dear Alexandra,

I am going home for Thanksgiving and really want to be able to enjoy my time with friends and family back home, but I am really stressed about the last two weeks of classes before finals. I have several major assignments and tests when we return from break, and I don’t know how to balance work with taking a break. Please help!

Too Hard-pressed, Always Need to Kill Stress


You deserve a break after 3 months of non-stop grind, but classes unfortunately don’t slow down as much as we’d like them to, even when our professors wish us a happy holiday. It’s definitely hard to decide how to allocate your time, and I know this is the easier-said-than-done answer, but try to divide your days home into different segments. Maybe Wednesday you want to allocate towards spending more time with friends and family, since you haven’t been home in a while. But, if you know there will be a lull in the activities, block out a chunk of that time to strictly do work with minimal distractions. Or, if you know you’ll spend all morning on Friday going Black Friday shopping, spend the rest of the day working on that essay due next week. Even if you’re traveling to a relative’s on Thursday for Thanksgiving dinner, if it’s a long trip, you can bring some flash cards or your textbook and familiarize yourself with some key terms for your upcoming tests (unless you get car sick, maybe don’t do that). If you’re worried about not following through in the moment, make a plan beforehand. Whether it’s alternating between work and social life every other day or allocating certain hours of the day to each type of task, make that plan and stick to it. Of course, it’s not set in stone, but if you shift things around in one domain, try to have some self-control and retain the same proportion, whatever you deem it to be.

Hope this helps!