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Between studying, working and maintaining a social life, students often become overwhelmed, however, there are solutions.

Trying to get all of these activities done can become too much to handle and students can start to feel pressure.

 It’s not always rainbows and butterflies when trying to accomplish everything at the same time. 

“It’s overwhelming,” said Jocelyn Deo, a second-year SAIT student from the travel and tourism program. “Especially, if you have a busy schedule and school load.

If you don’t have time for yourself, you can’t do anything.”

According to the Globe and Mail, a survey conducted by the Canadian Organization of University and College Health showed that almost 90 per cent of the 300,000 students surveyed said they felt overwhelmed by all the activities they had to do.

The Globe and Mail reported that Dr. Su-Ting Teo, director of student health and wellness at Toronto’s Ryerson University, said students struggle with a lot of things such as health, relationships, financial and academic issues.

In the article, Dr. Su-Ting said the large number of students who were dealing with three or more issues at the same time surprised him. 

Monica Urribarri, a second-year student from the engineering design and drafting program at SAIT, used to be involved in two clubs, had three jobs and volunteered both in and outside of SAIT. She said it’s stressful to commit to multiple things at once . 

“I was always stressed. Even when I was sleeping, I was thinking of the things I had to do,” said Urribarri.

Marta Edgar, Ph.D. registered psychologist of SAIT’s Student and Development and Counselling services, said the best way to handle over commitment is having good time management. 

“Students have to divide urgent things versus important in a high and low measure,” said Edgar.

“High, urgent tasks have to be done at the moment, for example, when your boss calls you saying he has an emergency and needs you to show up.”

On the other hand, Edgar said that urgent, low importance things such as watching the newest episode of your favourite TV show or scrolling through social media are only time-consuming and raise procrastination. 

Edgar said when it comes to something that has a high importance and low urgency such as working out or calling family back at home, people are allowed to take their time, but have to make sure to do it, otherwise, there could be bad consequences. 

“If you keep delaying them forever, it’s a bad idea,” said Edgar.

In addition, Edgar said students should count how many hours a week they are involved in academic activities and  leisure activities in order to determine how much time each one is going to take.

“If the total exceeds the number of hours in a week, it’s impossible to create a situation,” said Edgar.

Staying away from extremes and being realistic is also another way to deal with over commitment.

“Students try to do everything perfectly—it’s impossible,” said Edgar. 

Edgar recommends students make decisions about what’s essential to accomplish their long-term goals and give up things that don’t really matter.

Saying no is also another effective way to avoid over-commitment.

Edgar said people who can’t say no are victims of low assertiveness, and they should think about what their, “yes worth” is.

“It’s impossible to please everyone,” said Edgar.

“You have to stop yourself and think – Do I have to do it? How important is it really?”

Edgar said it is very common to have students who suffer from stress issues in the Student Counselling and Development centre.

Having good time management, finding time for yourself and learning how to say no are the most effective ways to avoid over commitment and stress while accomplishing your goals.

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