A little bit of stress can go a long way.
They say anything is good in moderation, and while that might not necessarily always be the case, I believe it applies here.
What I mean by this is that there is definitely a healthy level of stress that can really help me to get things done on a day-to-day basis. A sweet spot, if you will.
This level can and probably should vary from person-to-person. Regardless of what level of stress is the right level for you, here’s my take on how I make the most out of my stress.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about my own personal stress is organization. Have you ever heard of Google Calendar? It’s something that I use every single day and I swear by it. I actually have found that I get stressed when I don’t have my life organized and planned out in Google Calendar that I have open on my phone and laptop 24/7. By maintaining a sense of order and controlling the things that I have power over (when I will do my homework, for example), I can stay in that sweet spot in terms of stress.
When I refer to this “sweet spot”, I’m talking about feeling just enough stress about something to the point where I can convince myself to get out ahead of it. I really hate the feeling of being under the gun to get something done, although I recognize that a lot of people operate best in that kind of high-pressure environment. I, however, most certainly do not.
This all comes back to Google Calendar and another one of my favorite apps called myHomework. Yup, that’s right. I said one of my favorite apps is called myHomework. And now, you have no choice but to keep reading because I’m going to explain why I am giving this app such high praise.
MyHomework is an online planner that I began using at the beginning of my first semester at Denison last fall and it has been so huge for me. To have a place on my computer (and phone!) where I have all of my class times and assignments chronologically ordered is fantastic. It might seem like a really simple thing to someone else, but it really is something special.
But as great as Google Calendar and myHomework may be, there are so many other contributing factors besides academics. We all have felt the weight of a social stressor at some point or another. Whether it’s dealing with some sort of roommate conflict or worrying about finding a date to your winter formal, there are seemingly infinite amounts of little things — let’s call them microstressors — that contribute to everyone’s daily stress levels. I have some insight into how we can all not only deal with these, but actually take things away from them.
First, it is O.K. to be stressed! So many of us are super involved people with, quite frankly, way too much on our plates. How many times have you gone to bed on Sunday night after a weekend where you felt like you got a lot of work done, and yet still feel like you’re already behind going into the week? My advice, albeit corny, is genuine: use this feeling of dissatisfaction to fuel you to be better.
As human beings, we are all imperfect by our very nature. One thing we can all work on is using our stress to better ourselves. I’ll leave that up for your interpretation, because that truly can mean something different for each and every one of us.
Maybe, you will put down this newspaper right this second so that you can download myHomework onto your phone and/or computer. Or, maybe not. I promise I won’t take too much offense if you opt for the ladder option.