Tag Archive for 'stress'

Harvard is Great When You’re Not Stressed Out

Coming back from Thanksgiving break can be a bit of a shocker. Turkey break is a wonderful time to chill out, eat food, ignore homework etc. etc., but getting back onto campus can be painful especially if you’re facing a mountain of work.

Somehow, this is one of the few times, I’ve managed to come back from break without actually facing a mountain of midterms / papers / psets / blahblah. I’ve discovered, funny enough, that Harvard is a fantastic place to be when you’re not stressed out.

There are interesting people about, good conversations to be had, fun events to go to, lots of ways to amuse yourself. But when you’re stressed, Harvard just seems like a dreary place.

If Harvard is lame, it’s because you’re making it that way.

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Surviving Midterms

Of particular relevance is how to survive midterms. Those nasty things that generally happen 2-3 times a semester, despite their name-sake. Whether you’ve survived? your first set or are anticipating midterms next week, this post is relevant for you.

Midterms generally count from 20-40% of your grades in whole, and while that is a lot, the bulk of your grades are actually coming in after the “midpoint” of the semester. (Finals and final papers are worth a ton, and you still have all those response papers / psets.)

So, I’ve just survived my hellish batch of 3 midterms in 2 days (why I haven’t posted in a while). This post will touch on the strategies you can use to make your studying more efficient.

(A post on surviving post-midterms will be coming up soon). Read more…

Just-In-Time Thinking

The Japanese perfected just-in-time inventory, with a great many savings and benefits. Right when you need a product, you produce it. No need to worry about the cost of holding that inventory and sitting pretty on potentially 5,000 extra units of stuff that might not sell.

Similarly, while I was stressing out over my class schedule last summer, I realized the sheer pointlessness of brooding over decisions that I can’t possibly make without further, next-to-the-last-minute information. I’m not going to be able to decide between two core classes unless I shop both of them…two or three months down the road. There’s no point in spending hours two or three months ahead of time trying to decide between the two.

Just-In-Time thinking is a way of managing decision-making, so that you think through what you need to think through WHEN you need to think through it.

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