College offers young people a unique life experience. The chance to live away from home affords them with a new-found independence, and many students become overwhelmed by the feeling of independence. The fact that they don’t have to answer to anyone anymore invites exploration. While this freedom allows young people the opportunity to discover themselves, meet new people, explore new and different interests, it can also be overwhelming. When academic requirements collide with other obligations and interests, stress may manifest itself in unfamiliar ways. Learning how to relieve the stress is crucial to ensuring a successful and happy college experience.
Time management is one of the most essential skills that any college student can learn. The ability to budget time and juggle multiple assignments and prioritize in order to finish things on time and still do a great job is a skill that can be relied on throughout the rest of life. It extends to personal and academic or professional obligations. Allocating time efficiently will also mean that a college student can socialize and hang out with friends with a free conscience and without the stress of assignments hovering over their head.
*Take care of yourself
Taking care of yourself is crucially important. It isn’t possible to study effectively or efficiently if you’re not eating a healthy diet or getting adequate sleep. Pulling all nighters may allow students to finish projects by the next day, but they may wind up paying for that all nighter for days because they can’t function properly. It may not be possible to eliminate all stress, but a healthy diet and regular meals coupled with proper sleep will go a long way towards minimizing the amount of stress that one suffers.
*Take time to workout
Exercise is another important stress reliever. It not only allows a student to take a break from studying or work; it provides a physical channel for the release of stress. It may also help a student focus better on their academic work and sleep better at night – when sleep issues are a problem. It can also help people who are prone to bouts of depression.
*Maintain regular contact with family
Homesickness is often a difficult issue for college students, especially those who are away at college for the first time. Figuring out a way to maintain regular contact with family is important. So is figuring out a way to maintain independence as a college student without losing parental trust. Parents should be sure that their children feel comfortable about contacting them when they have issues. They should also work to deal with their children in non-judgmental ways.
*Make time for friends
Although college is primarily a place to get an education, the social component of a college education is equally important. Many young people develop friendships while at college that will last for the rest of their lives. Hanging out with friends is a right of passage for college students. Going out for coffee, hanging out at campus hangouts, studying together, or making time to have meals together are all important ways that college students can make time to hang out with friends, without sacrificing study time.
College students should resist the temptation to turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to relieve stress. Although these “substances” may offer temporary relief of stress, the long term problems associated with their use are inevitably far worse than the stress itself. When things seem insurmountable or impossible to deal with, most college campuses and universities have a student counseling service and a student health service. Consult the student counseling service, and if medical help is necessary, they can provide the proper referrals. Reaching out to ask for help in dealing with stress is not a sign of weakness; it is the mark of a courageous student who wants to improve their situation and life.