Be kind to your future self

By: Annie Sragner, Associate Arts and Life Editor

Even though this is my seventh semester of college, I always forget how overwhelming the first few weeks of classes can feel. After coming back from a long stretch of leisurely summer, being thrown head-first into a demanding schedule with little or no grace period can be daunting.
Whether you’re still in school or have long-since graduated, anxiety is a real feeling and must be dealt with before it causes any problems.

One way to deal with anxiety is to pay attention to the tone of your thoughts. Are they berating you or trying to belittle you about not accomplishing enough? Do they sound like an enemy or an ally speaking? To maintain mental health, it’s important to separate your true self from your anxious thoughts.

To help with this, I regularly attend meditation sessions on campus to help me feel centered after a stressful week.  Meditation always leaves me more confident in my ability to release unnecessary negative thoughts.

One technique I have been trying to stick with is to live each moment as it comes and do things one step at a time. A giant workload can feel a lot less intimidating if broken up into a few things to complete each day.

To defeat my inner procrastinator, I developed the “Favors for your Future Self” system. If I see that I have a big assignment due in a few days, I ask myself, “Would future Annie rather be stressed out in a time crunch trying to get this done, or would she rather relax in the fact that it’s already over with?”

If things are still bad, “Parks and Recreation” had it right when they coined the phrase “treat yo self.” Be nice to yourself and remember that you are only human. Be mindful of your mood and remember that everything is going to be okay. Write down your thoughts and talk to someone if you need to. Remember, a lot of things may go wrong, but there are way more things going right.

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