Why You Shouldn’t Be So Hard on Yourself
First and foremost, you should know that you’re doing a fantastic job. Despite what I’m sure you have told yourself at least once throughout your educational journey, you really are doing great. Between essays, midterms, presentations and final exams, (not to mention out of school obligations such as a part-time job) it can often feel like there is barely enough time to make sure everything gets completed, let alone find time for yourself. But it’s important to remind yourself what a great job you’re doing, and allow yourself the time to re-charge.
With the constant, overwhelming pressure to succeed in post-secondary, it’s no wonder why in the ACHA Canadian Reference Group’s spring 2016 survey, 89.5% of surveyed post-secondary students (both male and female) reported feeling overwhelmed by things they had to do in the past twelve months. In the same survey, 44.4% of surveyed students reported feeling so depressed that it was difficult to function. While there is no doubt the strive to succeed in post-secondary should place some weight on your shoulders, it’s important to understand there needs to be a healthy balance between hard work and time to allow yourself to re-charge. In fact, putting an excessive amount of stress on yourself may come with various negative consequences on both your mental and physical health, which may negatively impact the progression and quality of your work. So, take a deep breath. You are doing better than you give yourself credit for. The fact that you have taken steps towards reaching your academic and career orientated goals already shows you’ve made terrific progress, and you deserve to give yourself some recognition. Ensure you continue studying an adequate amount, and completing projects by their deadlines, but in-between your hectic schedule take an hour or so out of your day to take a break, and spend that time doing something just for yourself. It could be something as simple as going for a walk, or watching a movie. Although it might feel like you are wasting precious time at first, this little relief from all the hard work you are doing gives your brain a chance to recuperate, and may benefit both your health and your work performance, once you get back to the books.
However, sometimes no matter how hard we try there are times when we just don’t appear to be reaching our full academic potential, leading to frustration and disappointment. Don’t be so hard on yourself! By taking care of your mental and physical health, and putting in the right amount of time and effort into your studies you are making tremendous progress towards getting to where you need to be. All you need now are some other resources to help give you that final push to success:
- If you find yourself struggling in a particular subject, reaching out to a tutor in your area may be an excellent source for help. Find a tutor.ca allows you to search tutors in your specific subject in your local area. https://findatutor.ca
- If your professor has office hours, stopping in with him/her may be exactly what you need to clarify anything you don’t understand. You can often find office hours listed on the course syllabus, or ask your professor.
- Your fellow peers are an excellent source for information. Try asking someone in your class for some help, or ask to study together.
- Time management plays a large role in academic success. If you find you’re struggling to find time to fit everything in, try making a day planner outlining specific time frames for each thing you need to get done.
- Make time for yourself! Remember, even though it might not feel like it at times, you are doing fantastic. Keep up the great work!