How to cope with anxiety and stress during finals
Vanessa Casalinuovo – CONTRIBUTOR
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! But that may be true but not for U of T students… it’s crunch time. I found myself sitting in class waiting for it to begin last week when the professor walks in, notices the stillness and stress on everyone’s face and says, “Oh it’s that time of year again… I know.”
I think it’s safe to say that we are all in the same boat right now. Everyone is struggling to stay awake in class because of the late nights, running on sheer caffeine and anxiety just merely trying to keep our heads above water.
Being a third-year student and juggling school, a part time job, volunteering, a social life, and your sanity can tend to be overwhelming at times…or all the time. But I’ll share the glue that keeps me together throughout this entire university experience of mine: Faith. Faith to me is blessed assurance. It is believing that things are going to be okay because someone greater is in control. Hebrews 11 states “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance of what we do not see.”
Most of the time we are victims of our own thoughts – giving in to pressure and stress, and feeling as though we just aren’t good enough to make it through this rough season. It’s difficult to remind ourselves to think positively, to remember that great things lay ahead and that God cares about our struggles. We must recognize that we are all immensely unique. No one shares the exact same thoughts or experiences that you have and what you offer life is something unique that is truly meaningful.
I believe that we all have a holy destiny. That is the divine fate: knowing that God has a plan for our lives. Sure, we can say I want to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher or whatever else, but there is no affirmation of these things because life is incredibly unpredictable.
Therefore, fellow students, my best advice is to believe in yourself and trust God. Even if you’ve never tried this before, give it a chance. It has certainly changed my life for the better. It doesn’t mean that I don’t stress or have anxiety, but I sincerely have a lessened amount before I grasped the concept of faith. It doesn’t mean that life won’t be challenging anymore because nothing in life is easy, but it is worthwhile and peaceful knowing that someone greater is looking down on you and cares, who sees your troubles and wants to bless you. “Cast your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7.)
Live life each day believing that things are going to work out the way God has intended. Through both good and bad circumstances trust that God is in control.