It is not always fun and games in college. A recent survey established that about 88 percent of college students find their school life to be a source of stress.
You don’t have to be an expert to see why many students are struggling with stress. Demanding course schedules, being away from home, and the need to make new friends all combine to increase the risk of stress for most first-time students.
Yet, managing stress in college isn’t something most students are well-equipped to handle. If you struggle to overcome your anxiety and stress, your academic performance could suffer, as will your overall health.
This article explores various tips and strategies you can use to manage student stress and lead a healthier life in college. Let’s get into it.
Table of Contents
1. Make a Sound Plan for Your Studies
College education is rarely a walk in the park. Whether you’re pursuing an Associate of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Science degree, your program demands your time, attention, and hard work. Anything short of that and you can as well forget about completing the program successfully.
Even with that knowledge, some college students don’t prioritize their studies. Soon enough, the lack of effort will show in their low grades. If the trend continues, it’s only a matter of time before the student starts getting anxious about their performance. Left unchecked, anxiety will give way to stress.
You don’t want poor academic performance to be a reason you’re stressed. This is completely avoidable. You just need to focus on your studies and do what needs to be done in class. Creating a study schedule will help you balance your academic and social life.
While we’re not saying passing all your classes will shield you from being stressed, you’ll eliminate it as a risk factor for stress.
2. Create a Healthy Balance Between School and Your Social Life
School must be your priority, but it shouldn’t take up all your time. It’s understandable that you may dedicate more hours to your studies especially if you’re reaching your targets, but don’t do it at the expense of your social life. A poor school-social life balance is a leading cause of stress among college students.
Hanging out with your friends doesn’t just strengthen your relationships with them. It’s also an ideal outlet for any stress that might have piled up over the week.
For example, when you plan weekend adventures with your college friends, it’s a time to forget about the stresses of your classwork and cool off. When you’ll go back to class again, you’ll feel refreshed and in the right mental state to absorb new academic material.
Remember that your social life in college isn’t just about your friends. You still have a family and keeping those family bonds strong is just as important.
Make a point to visit close family members often, and if distance is an issue, there’s digital communication. A strain in family relationships can cause anxiety and ruin your emotional well-being.
3. Be Organized
Research shows about 54 percent of Americans are overwhelmed with clutter in their living spaces. Going by this, there’s a chance you aren’t as organized as you’d like to be – which, if true, isn’t doing your mental health any favors.
A cluttered space will clutter your mind. Your thoughts will be neither here nor there. If you’re trying to study in a cluttered space, you’ll struggle to stay focused.
This is why being organized is a simple yet super effective way to prevent and combat stress in college. There’s no science behind staying organized. You just have to be intentional about it.
Whether you’re living off-campus or on campus, make a habit of cleaning up your room every day. Putting off some chores is a sure way to let clutter pile up.
If you have a private locker class, keep it tidy as well. Arrange your books and paperwork nicely. That’s how you’ll reinforce the idea of staying organized in your mind.
4. Be a Prudent Time Manager
In college, it always seems like there are a million things to do at the same time. Barely a few weeks into a new semester, there’s an endless list of assignments to complete. Couple this with the sheer number of classes you need to attend and you can see how it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
But if we’re being honest, the solution to this is simple: proper time management.
You’re certainly being caught unawares with a pile-up of tasks because you didn’t stay on top of what needed to be done, when it needed to be done. Perhaps you had a few more hours of sleep in the early days of the semester, often under the pretext that things were yet to get rolling.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but in college, things get going from the first day of a new semester. Practice good time management from day one and you won’t fall behind schedule. Consequently, you won’t start feeling anxious and stressed because you’re struggling to catch up with everyone.
5. Know When to Reach Out for Help
Stress in college is no different from stress in the workplace or any other place. Anyone can struggle to get it under control. In fact, it can quickly progress and become a clinical issue regardless of your best efforts to manage it.
Ultimately, like any other health issue, knowing when to get professional help is important. If your campus has a mental health office or student wellness office, that should be your first step. A professional counselor will assess your condition and recommend the next cause of action.
Managing Stress in College Is Vital
Good mental health is key to a successful college life. Unfortunately, campus life isn’t a bed of roses. Far too many students are dealing with bouts of anxiety and stress at any given time, mainly because of academic rigor.
Managing stress in college is one of those things every student should know. Hopefully, with this guide, you now know a thing or two about it.
We wish you good health and don’t forget to share this article with your buddies and spread the word.