This was a stressful week at PDBY, and a lot of people struggled with the workload and balancing their work with university and their personal lives. This reminded me that this is an exceptionally difficult time of year for a lot of people and that the stress seems to pile up a bit. Or a lot… And it often feels difficult to cope.
But if we have seen anything from 2020, it is that we can overcome extreme difficulties, even when we feel like it may be too much. After so many months we may forget how intense and overwhelming living in a pandemic has been. But if we think back to last year, or even February this year, life has changed a lot. It was a difficult change, and a lot of people felt like they weren’t coping – myself included. But here we are, beginning the final quarter of a grueling year, having survived what has been some of the most trying times for many people.
Approaching exams is stressful, and the assignments feel impossible to navigate through at times. And on top of that, we all have families, personal lives, financial concerns, and relationships to manage and maintain. It is a lot. But it is manageable, and we can cope. Thousands of students have gone before us and survived these often overwhelming times in our degrees, and we will too.
But that doesn’t automatically mean it will be easy or smooth, and it is important that we acknowledge the need for self-care and recuperation. We need to take care of ourselves and ensure we thrive psychologically, physically, and emotionally before we can thrive academically. It is also important that we each realize we do not need to try and overcome all of our stress and panic alone. We can ask for help, and there are structures and platforms in place to offer us professional assistance. But there are also friends, lecturers, peers, and family that are there to support us. Every support structure is different, but find who forms yours and be willing to ask for that support when you need it. You do not need to battle or suffer alone.
This final quarter is a difficult one, and it is the final push to get through the chaos of 2020. Ask for help, look after your mind and body, and allow yourself the space to acknowledge feeling overwhelmed and anxious – I have found this is often an important first step in getting through these feelings. And if anything, think of how satisfying it will feel to officially finish this year, and use that to keep going.
Aside from that, take a second to enjoy the special Literature Edition this week. This edition reflects the love for literature many journalists at PDBY have, and I hope it appeals to all of our fellow book lovers and literary scholars.