Welcome to the University!
You've worked your butt off to get here and you're ready for the next big chapter in your life. Or maybe you're just starting out as a freshman, but regardless of where you are in the process, one thing is clear: college is stressful. Between managing your schedule, figuring out how to pay for college, and getting used to living away from home—it's no wonder students often struggle with stress levels on campus.
In this blog, I'll explore some ways that students can manage their stress levels in the college so they can make the most of their time and avoid being overwhelmed by anxiety (and other health issues) caused by being overworked or overwhelmed by deadlines.
Managing academic stress starts with setting up a productive study schedule
One of the most important things you can do to mitigate academic stress is to create a study schedule and stick to it.
Decide how many hours you want to study each day/week.
Decide when you want to study (morning, afternoon, or evening). You may find that different times work better for different subjects or phases of a project; if so, take note!
Write down what time(s) are best for you each day/week on your calendar. This will make it less likely that something else comes up and prevents distraction from other activities. If there’s room in your schedule, add in some fun time as well! It’s important not just for avoiding burnout but also for remembering why we come here in the first place: education!
Designate enough time to be able to absorb the study material
Taking the time to understand the material allows you to take away more from your studies than if you were just skimming through it quickly. Being able to retain the information better will help when it comes time for an exam or test, because a lot of students aren't able to answer questions when they don't know what they're talking about. If there are points in a chapter that are confusing or difficult for you, take more time going over those sections until they become clear before moving on with your reading. This way, if there's something that needs clarification later on down the road, at least now there won't be any confusion about what was being discussed!
Create a plan of action for yourself, and stick to it
Once you’ve identified what makes you feel stressed, the next step is to create a plan of action for yourself. This will help you stay focused on the things that need to be done and avoid getting caught up in useless tasks or thoughts. A good plan should:
Be realistic – if your plan involves working until 3am every night, chances are it won't work out very well.
Be sustainable – do not set yourself up for failure by making an unrealistic goal that requires superhuman levels of willpower to achieve (unless maybe you're planning on taking up meditation as a hobby).
Be doable – don't make goals so short-term that they will only take a few minutes each day, because then once again they won't be sustainable over long periods of time. It's better if they're slightly longer than they seem at first glance so as not get overwhelmed by them but still manageable enough so that one doesn't feel like giving up after five days without seeing any results from their efforts.
Support each other through studying as a group
While you should always try to be self-sufficient in your studies, it is important to remember that there are other people around you who are also struggling with academic stress.
Moral support and encouragement from friends can help when you're feeling overwhelmed or discouraged.
Motivate each other through difficult tasks and assignments by reminding each other of their strengths and potentials.
Friends can also serve as resources for information on strategies for coping with stress in academia.
No matter what, don’t let your stress take over your life
You're here because you want to learn how to relieve stress, or at least mitigate some of the negative effects that it can have on your life. And that's a great place to start! But don't let the stress take over your life.
It’s okay if you feel anxious about school sometimes—it happens to all of us! But if it starts interfering with other things in your life, like friendships or family time, then it's time for action. You'll have more energy and be able to focus on what really matters when you're not worried about everything else going wrong in your life.
Eat healthy foods, stay hydrated and get enough rest
Staying hydrated and eating healthy are two of the most important things you can do to keep your stress levels low. Whether you're going to class or working on a project, make sure that you're getting enough rest and eating right.
If it's not already part of your routine, start taking 10 minutes each day to meditate or practice mindfulness. This will help you focus on yourself and relieve some stress. It also helps when preparing for an exam because it reduces anxiety and allows for better concentration on studying material.
Nutrition plays a big role in how people feel both physically and mentally throughout their day-to-day lives, so making sure that what you eat is as healthy as possible will go a long way towards helping you deal with any academic pressure they might be feeling from time to time.
Allow yourself a reward every time you accomplish something
Try rewarding yourself with something you enjoy doing. For example, if it’s a hot day and your dorm room is sweltering, you might want to go for a walk around campus. You can reward yourself with a treat like ice cream or even an alcoholic beverage (just be sure not to drink too much!).
Rewards do not always have to be expensive, though. A small token like a handmade birthday card can bring joy and satisfaction when given as a gift. The point is that there will always be opportunities in our lives where we need some way of taking care of ourselves, whether it's by doing something nice for someone else or just by treating ourselves well!
Have someone to help you through the tough times
It’s easy to feel alone when you’re struggling with stress, but I want you to know that it shouldn’t be. There are people out there who can help you and support you through the tough times. Having someone to help you through the tough times and support you can make all the difference!
Supportive friends or family members: Sometimes having a friend or family member will do just fine for providing encouragement and motivation. If this person is supportive, they may be able to provide some much-needed encouragement during those times when things get particularly stressful (or even overwhelming). This may sound like a no-brainer, but we often underestimate how important having someone on our side—even if they don't have any specific academic knowledge—can be during such trying times. Just knowing that someone cares about what happens with us (both good and bad) makes all the difference in keeping us motivated throughout those long hours spent studying or preparing for exams.
A mentor: Having a mentor is not only helpful when dealing with stress related issues but also provides guidance for other aspects of life as well as academics such as finding internships/jobs after graduation! Mentors provide accountability without judgment which helps relieve stress because there's less pressure placed upon an individual student compared to peers who may not understand what it takes.
Academic stress can be lessened and become more manageable
Learn to accept that stress is normal and unavoidable, especially if you're an academic overachiever.
Use relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing exercises during times of high stress (e.g., before a big exam). These will help calm you down and allow you to think clearly when it matters most.
Get enough sleep at night so that our brains have time to process what we've learned during the day! Sleep deprivation can lead to increased feelings of anxiety, depression, irritability—and all sorts of other unpleasant side effects!
- Make sure to get enough shut-eye every night before hitting snooze; aim for 8 hours if possible. Even just a few minutes more could make all the difference in how much energy we have throughout our days…not just because we'll feel better overall but also because it gives us more opportunity for productivity. The bottom line here is: don't let anything stand between yourself and happiness!
Believe in yourself
You can learn to manage your stress. Academic stress is a part of college life, but it doesn’t have to incapacitate you. You can find ways to manage your academic stress in a way that works for you and still allows you to enjoy the activities that are important to you. For example, if going for a run helps relieve your stress more than meditating or writing in a journal does, then go for a run! The key is finding ways of managing your academic stress that fit into what works with who you as an individual and what gives the best results.