A guide to Briercrest Novembers...as told through GIFS!

Julie Thiessen
Guest Blogger
    Posted: Nov 15, 2017
Julie Thiessen  Julie Thiessen Julie Thiessen

If you've read your syllabi lately (or if you've been at all aware of your immediate surroundings), then you probably know this already: November's here. And with it come 1) all the major research papers your five classes can throw at you, 2) library traffic like you've never seen before, and 3) a general, widespread increase in panic. Terms like "eye strain" start getting thrown around seriously, and you're pretty sure you permanently damaged your neck from trying to do all your homework while laying in bed.

In short, it's time to persevere. Some of us are entering into our fourth (or fifth, or sixth) November. Some of us will stumble into the library for the first time ever. Many of us will look back longingly at the free evenings we enjoyed in October and regret not starting papers when we had the chance. Luckily, none of us are alone in this.

 Let's just go ahead and acknowledge it: school is tough. But we're tougher. As we persevere together, here's a guide to Briercrest Novembers, told in every student's favourite medium: the GIF.

1. Soak that stuff in prayer

What's the point of the 'Miracle Month' stereotypes still going around if we're not lifting our work up to the God of miracles? Pray before reading. Pray after reading. Pray together. Pray alone. Pray without ceasing—you won't believe what happens next!!! 

2. See the goals, be the goals

Establish goals and priorities to help you manage your work time effectively.

If the assignment intimidates you, break it down into smaller, more manageable steps.

Be realistic, and be good to yourself. 

to do list

^ Draw inspiration from this good boy.

3. Don't wait to feel motivated

cat and keyboard
 
Motivation often follows action. Simply starting on homework will bring you closer to completing your assignments than watching Stranger Things and waiting for the anxiety to fuel your paper-writing. Self-discipline: practice that way, kids
 

4. Stay on track

 
train tracks

Easier said than done, I know. But productivity and efficiency in a work session have been shown to improve over time. So breaking up fifteen minutes of study time with ten minutes of Instagram scrolling is actually working against you. (Who knew?) Toss that phone in a drawer and focus!

5. Check that attitude

attitude

It's hard to say without sounding like you have a plank in your eye, but your attitude towards school could be the number one obstacle you face this month. Seek help where you need it, pursue thankfulness, resist temptation, and acknowledge the privilege of a challenging education. 

6. Practice selective isolation

blinds

Although community is essential, your best friends might not actually be the best study buddies. If "studying" [procrastinating] with friends only adds to your stress later on, learn the power of isolation. There's a cubicle in the library with your name on it, friend. Welcome home.
 

7. Reward your successes

Between finishing one paper and starting the next, make sure to reward yourself with good things that you enjoy doing. 

treat yourself

So much can be solved by going on a burger run. Not nutritional issues, probably, or the rising price of gas. But so much. (Maybe have your burger and then go for a run.)

8. Release that tension

release that tensions

If a paper's crushing you when you should be crushing it, stop a minute. Take several deep breaths, stretch your muscles out, and massage your temples. Think of something that makes you laugh. These small practices will help your body release and reduce the sensation of stress. 
 

9. Return

 
sinking
 
collection

If these GIFs about stress make you say "same," it's time to return to dry ground. This is about practices that bring you back to who God is and who you are. Invest time in your foundation: worship, read Scripture, laugh, socialize, exercise, get outside, play. Commit to things that are good for you. Even though it takes 40 valuable minutes from your precious morning time, going to chapel is all the more vital when mid November hits.

10. Reach out

Sometimes the hardest thing to do when the pressure's on is to get outside of your own head. Fight against the tunnel vision that comes when deadlines pile up, because we need each other. Pray for one another, help one another, keep on serving and loving one another. These practices give us life as a body and keep our perspectives in check.

hallelujah

If you're struggling, we're here for you! The Writing Centre, Student Success Centre, Student Development, the Counselling Center, your RAs, and your friendly neighbourhood VP Academics are all available to you on your academic journey.

 

Happy November, Briercrest! If you're reading this, chances are you could be doing an assignment as we speak. Use some of these tips for when you do get back to the grind. Beyond assignments, may this month be one of health and Spirit-filled LIFE for you. Let's persevere together—drink that coffee and crush the day, friends.