Dear Counselor – February 15, 2022

Mary Pellitteri, Quinnipiac Counselor

Dear Counselor is a column written by Mary Pellitteri, a counselor with Quinnipiac University’s Counseling Services, to answer questions students have regarding mental health and wellness. To submit questions to “Dear Counselor,” contact us at [email protected]. All chosen questions will be anonymously published.

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and does not constitute medical or other professional advice.

I feel like my assignments are really getting on top of me. How can I manage my time better?

Some days, don’t we wish there were more than 24 hours in a day? The problem is, we would probably still feel busy, rushed and scattered.

It can be challenging trying to balance academics, other school responsibilities, friends, family, and self-care/me time.

Often, the key to effective time management is to plan and stay organized, in other words, use your time wisely.

– DON’T WASTE TIME; look at what distracts you and adjust accordingly. You may consider limiting your social media or phone time while studying.

– PLAN; prioritize, make a to-do list.

– ASSESS YOUR CURRENT SITUATION; do you have a few hours, or 30 minutes between classes? Are you feeling like you could focus on a bigger assignment, or tackle one or two easier ones?

– DON’T MULTITASK; your brain works best when you are focused on one task at a time.

– SET A STUDY ROUTINE WHEN POSSIBLE; for example go to the library every Monday and Wednesday between your 10 a.m. class and 3 p.m. class. Then don’t think about it, just do it, no exceptions!

– TAKE BREAKS, REWARD YOURSELF; take breaks often to get up and move around. Take longer breaks and have a snack, text a friend, watch YouTube. Try meditating, even if it’s only for a few minutes, to refresh your brain.

Your reward from developing these habits may very well be that you will feel more accomplished and less stressed.

How can I manage my relationship amid the stress of everyday college life?

One of the best ways to do this is by being in a HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP! Your responsibility as a student is to give school your best effort. You will not be able to do this if you are worried about other things; a stressful relationship will zap all your energy!

Important requirements in any relationship are mutual respect, honesty, open communication, trust, and genuinely liking the other person. Love is important, but that’s not enough. Relationships begin by building a friendship. Do you enjoy spending time with this person? Are your disagreements respectful? Is the drama minimal?

Relationships can take time and effort, but they should not be draining and demanding. Your partner should want what is best for you, and that includes doing your best with your academics and other school involvements.

Being organized and planning can be helpful, so you and your partner can block some time to be together, after school responsibilities are accounted for.

A relationship should be an add-on in your life, not the main focus. Try not to have expectations, of where it will lead, just enjoy the moment. And remember, always be true to yourself!