Heartdrive: What to do when your major is mentally destroying you

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Heartdrive: What to do when your major is mentally destroying you

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Being a college student is rough, and most times it’s not very healthy. We’re raised in a culture that honors exhaustion and overworking because it means that we’re “working towards something.” But this type of mentality isn’t sustainable. Here’s what to do when you feel like your major is destroying you.

1. Cry

No, seriously. Crying is therapeutic. According to Medical News Today, researchers have discovered that those who cry help regulate their emotions and reduce their distress. Oxytocin and endorphins are released when emotional tears are shed, and these chemicals can help reduce pain. So throw on your favorite sad and slow playlist, lock your room and let your emotions overtake you.

2. Break your tasks down one at a time

You might be so intimidated by work, that you psych yourself out and don’t even start on your work. And then you get stressed at the fact that you’re too stressed to work.

It’s fine to feel stress. But feeling too stressed to do anything can cause a few setbacks in school and in life. After the waterworks, set aside some solid time for planning.

Make a list of things that need to be done NOW, but stop at five. Having a laundry list of intimidating tasks will just discourage you even more.

Start on one, important and urgent thing now. Stop what you’re doing, and do it now. If there’s a test coming up, set a timer for 45 minutes to an hour of uninterrupted studying. If there’s a paper due, open up Microsoft Word or Google Docs and just write whatever comes to your head in 45 minutes. NO BACKSPACING. Worry about editing and flow later.  

3. Re-evaluate your standards

If you’ve always had a 4.0 GPA and you’re dying trying to get an A in calculus when you’ve got a 74, it’s time to rethink your why’s. Even though “C’s get degrees” is not always the best way to think about your college classes, it’s important to be realistic. What do you really need to be successful in your career path? Do what you have to do.

4. Take a semester off

Nobody said college was supposed to be easy. But like a homework problem, you can always take a break and come back. Let’s face it, who really graduates in 4 years and knows exactly what they’re doing afterward?

Don’t let the gap semester or year make you feel behind. Instead, think of this as a time to replenish those fried brain cells and come back ready to learn and fulfill your purpose.

5. Switch majors

Maybe this major really just wasn’t for you. If you find yourself unable to sleep often, in uncontrollable amounts of stress, missing meals or forgetting what happiness feels like, it just might be a sign for you to choose a different path. Don’t think of it as a failure. Think of it as the world closing a door so you can focus on the innate talents within you.

College is important, but it shouldn’t be the end-all be-all of your health and wellness. College already has taken your money, don’t let it take your health and sanity too.

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