The most stressful situation I have ever found myself in at school just happened two weeks ago through the mid-term exam’s week I went through during the Paralegal Program I am taking at Fanshawe College. Even though I attended Law School in Colombia for five years; since I am enrolled in the program, I started feeling unprepared and incapable to continue studying, because I found extremely hard and challenging to complete the assignments for the different classes, due to the high workload and the short time I had to do each one.
In addition to that, I had the challenge of studying in a language different from my mother thong, which I am still learning day by day. All of a sudden, in order to face those challenges, I was supposed to be able to do a big amount of thing, such as study for exams, do homework, prepare oral presentations, and read several chapters from different books for each class, all at the same time. This situation increased my stress level and putted in risk my ability to performance during the term, because if a situation seems overwhelming to me, I mentally break down, and rapidly I am unable to function or even think properly. Under those circumstances, after spending a couple of nights without sleep, worried about what should I do, I promptly realized that there is always a reason for the difficulties that we come across in our life, and I could either overcome the obstacles or be overcome by them.
In that exact moment, I decided to handle the situation and continue achieving my goal of becoming a Paralegal by focusing on success. The first thing I did was prioritized the workload according to which one needed to be done first, and also considering its value for the final grade For example, during the same week of exams I had to do two important assignments; one was due for Legal Computer Applications class and worth 30% of the final grade; and the other due for Legal Canadian System only worth 5%. Then, I start working on the one that worth 30%, instead of starting with the other one. Furthermore, I took the determination of stop procrastination and have things done as soon as I got the instructions from the professor. Consequently, I created a schedule for each day of the week by dividing tasks into smaller steps, and I committed myself to follow the plan.
Nonetheless, it was a hard thing to do I had a positive outcome from the whole situation. In fact, I reduced my stress level and the overwhelming feeling of incapability. Getting things done made me feel relaxed and I got rid of the guilty feeling of procrastination. At the end, I learned how to take charge of my life and as a result, my self-esteem improved considerably, because it turned out that accomplishing things made me more effective and productive. It also helped me to keep commitments and forget about delays, which made me ultimately happy and satisfied with the fruits of my hard work. Finally, If I could back in time, I have avoided this stressful situation if from the beginning of the program, I have started practicing the techniques and skills that I now know, and consequently, it would make me able to understand that despite stress is an unavoidable reality of life, it is not always a bad thing; on the contrary, it is a natural response that can increase my awareness, allowing me to act quickly in front of a high amount of work. Once again, if I have the chance to go through all over again, I definitely would use time wisely and take little opportunities to get the work done, like reviewing flashcards while I am waiting for the bus, and use visualization to prepare myself for presentations, assignments and exams, in order to stress less and score higher by vividly see me performing just as I would like to.
In conclusion, my most stressful situation at school taught me how to handle stress, and made me learn new study skills, like how to manage and schedule my time. I learned to look for resources to help me when I am feeling stuck in something. I learned that if I try my best I can persevere and overcome obstacles along my academic path. For instance, I now believe that the purpose of difficulties is to learn and grow from them. There might be times when I feel like giving up, but what it is important is to control myself and learn how to adapt me to these circumstances. Everything happens for a reason and when we look back we discover why.