Back to School: Dealing with Stress
Written By: Allison Biggs
Allison Biggs is a junior at Brigham Young University in Utah studying Biochemistry with a minor in Spanish and Civic Engagement Leadership.
"I love my family and friends, Jane Austen, Madam Secretary, and sunsets!"
The beginning of every school year brings an incredible amount of stress. Whether it’s the stress of school and classes, family troubles, a global pandemic, undetained about a future path, and so much more... It’s easy to get bogged down under the weight of it all. Getting sleep, eating well, exercising, and meditating are so important to taking care of ourselves, but sometimes there is simply too much, and for a short period of time we may feel as if we are drowning. When for a period of time we cannot lighten our load, we may need other tactics to help us thrive and manage our stress.
A couple things that really help me are my faith and family. They keep me grounded and remind me that there is more to life than school and a career. Relationships matter, the way we serve and care for those around us matters, and school doesn’t measure our success in those areas. Sometimes we may not be doing well in one area of our lives, but we may be deeply enriching a friend who needed ice cream and time to vent. We may be serving our parent who needs time to talk, or a sibling that needs help with an assignment. While I’m still learning how to balance my life well, I do know that enriching my relationships around me has seriously blessed me with greater capacity and confidence to deal with the rest of my life.
Life also isn’t perfect, and it’s hard to see the good things sometimes, especially if we’re running from class to meeting to errand to homework to test. All. Day. Long. But on these days, especially when I’m irritated about all I have to do, I often feel impressed to take a second look around me. I see the beautiful mountains to my east and south, usually a gorgeous sunset. I’m reminded of how blessed I am to study at such an amazing university. I’m reminded that life is beautiful, even when it’s busy. And I’m filled with gratitude and a new reminder to, even in my haste and rush to accomplish all I need to do, to slow down, take a breath, and remember what’s most important.
Life is so difficult sometimes. The stress and pressure to perform and do and achieve is so high. It can be so difficult to compare ourselves to classmates or friends and feel like we don’t measure up or that our life sucks. I’ve been there so many times. But, when we sacrifice some time to take care of our relationships and to reflect on the good things going on, I think we’ll have a new perspective on what matters most, that stress may dissipate, if just for a moment, and remind us why we’re doing what we’re doing in the first place.