How to deal with J-School stress

Over the course of this weekend and today I wrote all of my RW1 stories, I profiled a Bronx musician, I put together my mid-semester portfolio, I wrote my TNGG story, did all my reading, solidified my master’s project idea and applied to spring semester internships. I did everything I was supposed to do–and more–yet why do I still feel so overwhelmed?


Your guess is as good as mine, but I can’t be the only J-Schooler feeling like their brain is melted and that screaming would feel really great right now–so I decided to create a handy list on how to handle the stress of Columbia.

How to handle J-School stress and feeling so overwhelmed that you might cry:

  1. Make a list of all the things you must do. I enjoy sticking post-it notes to my mirror.
  2. Shed one solitary tear.
  3. Write your 2,000 word story. Proclaim that it’s the most terrible thing ever written on this planet (aside from “Twilight”) and send it into your RW1 professor.
  4. Weep for three minutes.
  5. Start researching your master’s project and lament that the Columbia program is only one year.
  6. Weep, heavily, for six minutes.
  7. Check your e-mail to discover your RW1 professor wants you to read five articles for class the next morning.
  8. Make coffee.
  9. Cry into coffee.
  10. Finish coffee.
  11. Read the articles.
  12. Yell at your roommate/cat/dog/neighbor because you remember that on top of all this RW1 shenanigans you also have reading for your Friday 4-pack classes (three, 30-page law cases plus history readings) as well as an assignment for your Saturday skills class.
  13. Yell louder because you realize that your RW1 story pitch for next week revolves around an event on Saturday that you can’t go to because you have a skills class that is (in)conveniently scheduled for the middle of the day.
  14. Cry. Cry. Cry some more.
  15. Gather yourself and make frantic phone calls searching for a new story.
  16. Breathe a momentary sigh of relief until you remember that your elective starts this week and you also have an assignment for that.
  17. Freak out because you also have SPJ responsibilities this week.
  18. Shot gun a Red Bull, say a prayer to Joseph Pulitzer’s holy ghost.
  19. Lather.
  20. Rinse.
  21. Repeat (until May 2011).

You feel me?



  1. Meg · October 11, 2010
  2. MoM · October 13, 2010

    you forgot…call your mom

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