Chinazam Uhegwu, Staff Writer

Hey Chi, you seem pretty I guess motivated? I just wanted to ask how you do it and what are some tips on staying on track.

– Procrastinator

Dear Procrastinator,

Thank you so much, I definitely didn’t start out that way. I found myself staying on track in school and excelling in my academics because I’ve found what works for me personally and what doesn’t. At the beginning of sophomore year, I learned that playing music during my homework time distracted me, and I found myself singing along to Frank Ocean rather than reading Pride and Prejudice. I also discovered that working in my bed, a setting that would distract many people compared to a desk didn’t have the same effect on me. Throughout high school, I’ve tried different methods of studying, from note taking to watching Khan Academy videos. I’ve wandered through various libraries on Saturday mornings or even stayed after school through optional study lessons by teachers. Not every method worked for me, however, I only knew they didn’t work, because I attempted them all. In order to really stay on track, you have to try and find out what works for you best. My level of procrastination has significantly dropped. Starting this year, my senior year at that, I bought myself a planner. This has been the best decision yet. I never miss a homework assignment, and I am able to list my priorities for the day in my planner. Not only does it help me with my homework, but my overall life outside of school. I’ve learned to maintain a balance. If you attempt to find that balance, maybe wander into a few libraries here and there, play your favorite playlist while you attempt to solve algebra, or even buy yourself an agenda book. In all this, you’ll find what works best for you.

I’m always stressed but I feel like everyone is. I’m not really vocal about my stress and I try to internally handle that myself. I just wanted to know what you do about your stress.

-Stressed mess

Dear Stressed mess,

I’m not the best when it comes to stress levels. I’m actually always stressed which is funny because I would consider myself a pretty balanced out individual. However, stress is inevitable, so rather than completely running away from stress, sometimes you have to take that stress in with open arms. I’ve learned that there is good and bad stress. This basically means, there is stress that comes with a new challenge and changes such as a project, harder classes or getting a job. I wouldn’t consider these events as bad changes, rather just new things that occur, which brings one out their comfort zone. I’m usually grateful for this sort of stress because it motivates me rather than my efforts and routines remaining stagnant. However, these are such things as bad stress, that can affect your daily thoughts and activities in a negative light. This can cause you to slack off and can introduce more confusion. I would start off by saying, differentiate first off what events in your life that falls under good and bad stress. Once you’ve identified them, I would embrace the events that are pushing you to strive a little harder. The bad stress does come and yes they are unwanted. I, myself is still learning how to effectively handle my bad stress. I would advise you to evaluate the bad stress, whether it’s from friends, family, time management or bad habits that are adding up. Sometimes sitting down and evaluating the aspects of your life that are inhibiting you, can only benefit you. Even though you cannot rid the roots to the bad stress in one day, knowing what’s causing such, is one effort made to reduce the unwanted stress.