With two weeks of classes in the bag, you’re probably either feeling incredibly enthused about the beginning of a new adventure or dreading the start of another recurring nightmare. Regardless of where you stand, it’s important to realize when there’s too much on your plate.

Being a victim of the rigors of overloaded schedules, the stress and anxiety attacks are far too common. I’ve realized since last semester that I’m not Superman and can’t tackle anything that comes my way.

Being an editor on two campus publications, an RA and a brother of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity all on top of 19 credits took a lot out of me — literally (specifically tears and a loss of body weight from malnourishment).

Toward the end of the semester I finally realized that maybe I’m too involved on campus. But the dilemma of not wanting to remove any of these amazing extracurricular activities presented itself. After much thought, the best course of action for me was to take only a handful of classes.

Since then, I’ve had to attend one class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with no class on Tuesdays or Fridays. It may sound like a breeze, but I don’t sleep all the time like you may think I do. Sure, it’s important to catch up on needed sleep, but it’s also imperative to keep your body active.

Working out is a beneficial way to relieve the stress built inside of you from a long, hectic day, but finding the time to go for those with busy schedules is difficult. Good time management skills and planning out time blocks can fix this.

And sometimes just having a strong support system can alleviate pent up anxiety and stress. The first step of asking for help starts with understanding your situation and who to reach out to. I was lucky enough to have such a close family of brothers to lean on.

Late Doors frontman Jim Morrison once said, “Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself — and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to, letting a person be what he really is.”

It took quite a while for me to ask for help about my stress, but in the long run, it was something I decided I wasn’t afraid to do. I’ve tended to keep a lot of my stress to myself and would always pick up the slack of others. However, actions like these only make matters worse.

When I finally decided to seek advice and comfort from others, I was honestly surprised at the willingness of others to help me. It turns out the world isn’t filled with selfish, apathetic people after all. Looking for these kinds of resources early before the situation gets out of your control is vital.

According to Nathaniel Lambert in a study at Florida State University, expressing gratitude (an emotion integral to happiness, health and social bonds) to a close friend or romantic partner strengthens our sense of connection to that person.

Knowingness of asking for help relies heavily on the willingness of the other person. Because so many people have helped me through multiple problems, I’ve always been there for anybody else in need. Reciprocation is not necessarily practiced all the time, but it’s always good to spread the love and pay it forward by helping a friend in need.

Email Chris Burek at opinions@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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