By PLA Liz
I was sitting on my couch at home during reading week when I realized how stressful my exams are going to be this year. The longer I sat there, the more reasons I came up with for why each of my five exams is going to stress me out. I was panicking. There was a voice in my head saying, “It’s going to be horrible, you’re going to be a stressed out mess.” I spent most of my free time during reading week on the brink of a hysterical breakdown.
It wasn’t until the end that I realized none of this has happened yet. In fact, it wasn’t going to happen for another six weeks. I was stressing about the stress that hadn’t even hit; I was letting the future dictate how I felt in the present.
But how do I avoid thinking this way? Exams are going to be stressful and they are going to be difficult. The key for me was the old cliché: live in the moment. I can’t predict exactly how I’m going to feel seven weeks from now on the night before my first exam, so I can’t prepare myself now for that precise moment in the future. What I can do now is prepare myself for the present.
I broke my long-term goals that were causing me so much stress into more manageable, short-term goals. If I am able to get the most out of each day by accomplishing my smaller goals, I will benefit in the long run.
The trick is to live in the here and the now. If I am able to get the most out of the present moment, then seven weeks from now I’ll know that I did everything I could to be prepared for the future.