Entering the Real World

As graduating is only a little more than two weeks away and final exams approaching next week, I have begun to feel very stressed. Even though I know what I want to pursue as my future career, it is still nerve-wrecking to enter the “real world” from the college life.  No longer will I be able to take naps in the middle of the afternoon or have a few hours of classes during the day in which I can then plan on how I would like to spend the rest of my day.

As I was looking for helpful ways as to how to adjust to post-college life, I came across this website in which outlines how to deal with post-graduation stress. First off, the article explains how it is perfectly normal for a recent college graduate to feel “stress and uncertainty.” Instead of stressing out over your plans, or maybe lack thereof, and are worried about your finances, don’t use stress as a justification to spend money in which you cannot afford. Instead, stick to a budget so that you don’t have credit card debt as an addition to the stress you already are feeling.

Another tip is that if you are a little indecisive as to what type of job or career you want to pursue, it is okay to be unsure as to which job you want to pursue but you must find a job and work in order to figure out what type of career you would like to have.

One last tip this article gave is to “confront the future” and realize that you could do a lot of different things with whatever major you chose in college. Even though many college students do not end up in jobs related to their majors, finding a job is what is most important. In addition, figure out what goals you want in life now that you are a post-graduate and also be realistic as well. For example, if you found a job, you may not be earning the income you desire. However, you must realize that in order to make the income you desire, you must start from the bottom in order to work your way up the “corporate ladder.”

While graduating is definitely a stressful time, it is important to also see graduating as an achievement for fulfilling four years you dedicated your hard work and time to in order to reach a new chapter in your life.


Managing Your Stress Through Meditation

Meditation is a technique I have always wanted to practice to help in managing my stress, but was never exactly sure how to practice it.  According to Sapolsky’s Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, meditation is an effective stress management technique because if it is done on a regular, daily basis it can decrease your glucocorticoid levels and sympathetic tone, while also decreasing your blood pressure while meditating. As this website suggests, by allowing yourself fifteen to thirty minutes a day to meditate, it will help you clear your mind and also allow yourself to feel at ease, relaxed, and stress-free. A few benefits meditation gives a person are it helps in improving a person’s concentration, in which clears your mind and allowing yourself to be more productive, most noticeably in creative areas such as writing. Also, meditation helps in reducing your stress levels and helps in relieving anxiety by helping to freeing one’s mind and relaxing one’s body at the same time.

While there are many ways to meditate that depend on which helps set your body and mind most at ease, I found a few helpful factors to take into account while using this stress management technique. First off, you want to make sure you are in a quiet area where there are no distractions in order to allow yourself a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere to relax. Second, allow yourself time to meditate (15-30 minutes) in order for you to fulfill relaxation and be at ease. Also, it is vital for you to listen to the words of the meditation and to picture the images, such as the sound of waves on the beach that are being either described or visualized in your mind as you meditate. I was able to find a few videos in which show examples of meditation, such as “Quick Getaway” that gives you peaceful and relaxing images such as the beach, sunset, etc. Also, I found this site called “Reducing Stress,” that explains what to do step by step in order to meditate.

Still not exactly sure how to meditate? I was able to find this other video in which visually shows the exact positions to be in while meditating and what to do. After learning more about meditation and its benefits, I will definitely try this as a stress management technique!

Writing Away Your Stress

Ever had to deal with performing well under stress?  How about not knowing how to relieve your stress?  According to this article I found, writing about your thoughts and feelings can help in relieving your stress and ultimately help in having you perform better. In this article, the author explains how a study was taken in which the participants were college students and the study examined the participants before taking a math test. The study found that the students who wrote down their thoughts and feelings about the test and their feelings of feeling pressured to do well were better than those who took the test without writing their feelings down. As a result, writing about one’s stress level and their feelings about the pressure they have to face helped them to perform better.

This study led researchers to believe that writing could help in decreasing a person’s stress level due to allowing a person to express their feelings and not having them bottled up inside. In addition, this study explains how writing also allowed the participants to let out their worries and not have to face them during exam time.  Have you ever wrote down your feelings of being stressed out before taking a test or performing a task that is stressing you out? Did it help? If not, do you think writing down your feelings would help you before a big test or task?

Memory and Stress

Ever been so stressed out for personal reasons or a big exam the next day when you can’t remember where you left the simplest things, such as your keys or swipe?

I know for me, I feel my memory has gotten worse and I do not understand why I continue to forget where I put things until I realized the reason was because I was stressed. A lot of people do not realize how much of an influence day-to-day frustrations and annoyances have on a person’s stress level and memory. I was able to find information concerning why people are a lot more forgetful when stressed. For one, if a person has continuous stress, it has a negative effect on memory and has a person to not be able to concentrate or pay attention to other things happening due to only focusing on the factor that is stressing you out.

I found many stress-fighting techniques that can help a person lessen their stress.  First off, a key stress-fighting technique is learning how to say “no.” I have a problem with saying no if someone asks me to do something thinking I can do it even though I have a million other things I need to get done. In reality, noone can commit and do everything they want to do or are asked to do. Instead, say yes to things that are truly important to you and to things in which you feel will be able to do mixed in with your prior commitments. Also, by learning how to breathe and meditate will help a person lessen their stress. For instance, by taking a few deep breaths and releasing the air slowly after each will help relax a person and be able to tackle their stress.

One of the most important techniques when stressed is to keep a positive attitude and do not let stress rule your life. In order to help yourself in a stressful situation, allow yourself to take a break from your normal routine and do something you enjoy, such as engaging in a hobby, craft, or sport to free your mind from the stress and help decrease the levels of negative stress hormones.

What stress techniques do you engage in to help your stress level? Have you ever done a stress technique when you realized you forgot something, and then quickly found it as a result from not letting yourself stress out over the situation?

Strategies for Success Lecture

I found Melba Vasquez’s lecture very interesting and helpful for now and future life choices. Melba Vasquez is the APA (American Psychological Association) President and is the first woman of color to be elected in 120 years. I found this link on Melba Vasquez and her background and position as APA president.  She began her lecture by describing how each and every one of us is motivated to be productive and to contribute to our society. In order to become productive and contribute to our society, she  stated that her main focus in the lecture was on how to achieve success and what strategies she has learned so far in order to do so. 

She explained how she knows life is “difficult and challenging,” but each one of us can help face our challenges and thrive based upon our choices.  First off, Vasquez stated that a person must take risks in order to develop confidence in oneself. Without taking risks, one’s confidence will not be able to form. I personally have not taken risks because I was too scared or afraid that the outcome would not be good. However,  from this lecture, I realized that it is a way to find confidence in oneself. In addition, another strategy is to look into where you fit with your strengths/weaknesses and allow for imperfections and mistakes. I found this very important in which it is vital to realize that not everything can be perfect and while mistakes are most likely to come along the way, by not letting failures or mistakes define oneself will help in achieving one’s goal.

Vasquez also began to describe how people must realize that emotional pain is a part of life in which such things as embarrassment and fear are all “parts of life” in which we need to learn to cope with by gaining support from others, such as from family and friends. Another main strategy is to never stop in persistence in order to achieve success. By finding activities and projects that will promote one’s sense of self, such as by volunteerism, is as she says “one of the best medicines” to help a person in feeling successful and worthwhile. For me, whenever I volunteer I feel as though I did something good for the community and makes me feel as though I helped in some way.

Also, by having a positive role model and mentor can help in terms of what you want to be like and become. Finally, Vasquez ended her lecture by explaining how each individual must engage in self-care in which we, ourselves. are the only ones who can make sure to exercise, eat healthy, balance work and play, while also treating ourselves and others with care, compassion, and kindness.

I found this lecture to be very worthwhile and helped me in knowing different strategies for a successful life. In addition, this lecture also related to our class in which helps in giving strategies on how to deal and cope with the stressful pressures of achieving success in life.

Managing Your Time

Ever felt as though you had a million things to do, and didn’t know where to even begin? For me, I have felt this way many times which ultimately leads to me feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.  Managing your time is especially crucial in college, in which you no longer have a set 8 hour or so day as in high school and have less in-class time, more work outside of the classroom to do on your own time, and many hours in which it is up to you how you spend your day.

After reading this article, I was able to find helpful tips and understanding as to the benefits and key points to having time management.  In terms of the advantages of time management, the article explains how time management allows you to reduce and potentially eliminate anxiety and “cramming” for something such as an exam tomorrow.  Another advantage of managing your time correctly is that it will motivate you by getting each little thing you have to do done in a timely manner with having time to do the other things you wanted to complete. 

However, in order to successfully manage your time, the article stresses that you need to realize and be aware of what you wanted to accomplish that day in order to properly “prioritize your activities.”  Also, the article emphasizes that creating a schedule for yourself that will work for you will also allow you to include the things you wanted to get done that are the most important to you.

I found it extremely helpful after watching this video on how to properly manage your time and what is best for you.  At the bottom of the website’s page, it also gives several additional resources you can use to help better your time management in providing. 

To sum up how to better manage your time, it is best to set and plan a schedule in which you plan what you know is necessary and vital you must do while also making sure that you will be able to follow the schedule in the way that works the best for you.  For example, by filling out on a blank sheet of paper or by using a weekly planner, writing down the courses you are taking, the time you have in class, when you have important assignments/tests due, extracurricular activities, work, etc. can help in making sure you get everything done in a timely manner by planning out beforehand how you are going to tackle all the tasks you have to complete.

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