Most students look forward to joining college because it comes with new experiences, social settings, and freedom to explore life as a young adult. As much as college life is exciting, it has its fair share of stressful situations. No doubt, the workload is higher than when you were in high school. Loads of assignments, assessments, research papers, group forums, and much more can take a toll, especially on first-year students. You may have taken a challenging course that requires long study hours to ace the units. With so much to accomplish, juggling between maintaining a social life and academics can be overwhelming.
If you do not maintain a healthy balance, you might find yourself dealing with stress without any coping mechanism. The independent education structure in college allows students to practice self-discipline and to plan their study hours conveniently. Thus, most students end up spending too much time on books without engaging in other extra-curricular activities, which can lead to academic stress.
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You can also battle with social stress during your first months in college since you are in a new environment where you have to form new social circles. Getting a roommate, balancing relationships, and new friendships with academics on the side can be quite tricky. So, what do you do to cope with stress in college? Read on to find out more about the best ways to reduce stress as a student in college:
Plan Your Schedule
With new-found freedom, it is tricky for most students to organize their study schedules. You need to practice self-discipline and ensure that you attend all the lectures and complete your assignments on time. You might be tempted to attend a weekend party while your term paper is due on Monday morning, causing late paper submissions.
It is vital to be an organized student by prioritizing your to-do-list. Create a convenient space in your room where you can concentrate during your study hours. If you have a messy and noisy roommate, you can become a frequent visitor in your quiet college library.
Also, create a timetable and follow it strictly so that you can train yourself to have a regular study schedule and personal time to carry out errands and participate in various social events. It helps you to maintain a balance and avoid stressful situations where you have to work all night to complete assignments.
Regular exercise is a coping mechanism for stress. It reduces feelings of frustration as well as prevents weight gain. A ten-minute work-out can do wonders for your well-being, especially in the morning before starting your day. It releases tension and puts your mind and body in a healthy balance.
Even if you are not an early riser, you can incorporate simple exercises in your daily routines, such as walking around campus, to the mall, or a friend’s house. You can also take physical education or gym classes during your free time. Enroll in yoga, salsa dances, martial arts, or gymnastics. Find an option that suits your preference and have fun while keeping academic stress at bay.
Most college students feed on junk and sodas since they find it cumbersome to prepare a healthy meal. Taking care of your mind, body, and soul is essential in living a healthy life. While fast foods are readily available and affordable, it may seem convenient to grab on the go, but it will take a toll on your health in the long run. Eat a balanced meal to get the energy to face the day with confidence. Stock up fresh-fruits and vegetables in your room and learn to cook simple and healthy meals.
With hectic schedules, most students find it hard to get adequate sleep. Tight deadlines, anxiety due to exams, and pulling all-nighters can drain your energy. So, plan your schedule and sleep early to get enough sleep. It is vital for your physical and mental health.
You need to budget your money wisely to avoid financial stress. Do not engage in impulse buying, or you will end up broke within no time. Have a budget in place to guide you in your daily expenses. Try to make meal plans if you love eating out by cooking a few times a week. If you leave outside the campus, set aside your commuter allowance per month to prevent missing lectures. If you have an entertainment allowance, stick by it and don’t take money from your meal budget when it is depleted. Practice self-discipline, and you will enjoy a fulfilling financial future even after college.
Starting a new life in college is always stressful since you leave a secure support system at home – family members and friends. On the other hand, developing a new circle of friends and learning people takes time and effort. You might end up feeling home-sick and lonely during the first few days, weeks, or even months. So, ensure that you keep in close contact with people who matter in your life – parents, guardians, or close friends at home. Call your mother, send an email, or organize a video conference with your family. It might boost your attitude and motivate you to push ahead with school.
Also, you can find social support by joining clubs and discussion groups with like-minded students. Be social and start making friends in your class. Form study groups and engage yourself in different activities in college. You will avoid stress and loneliness since college life will start making sense in the long run.
Ultimately, stress management is different for all students. What works for you may not work for another individual. Thus, it is imperative to find a suitable coping mechanism that will help you to reduce stress. Have a positive attitude, talk to someone, and engage in relaxing activities. Take care of your mental health since it is valuable and impacts your academic success.