Tuesday, September 27, 2022

How To Deal With College Stress

Make Your Surroundings Feel Like Home

Dealing With Stress in College

Being able to retreat to a dorm room or apartment thats comfortable and familiar can help you unwind after a stressful day. How you set up your surroundings can help you sleep better and even help with homesickness, Hafeez notes.

Here are a few ways you can create a relaxing space that feels like home:

  • Display pictures and other items that remind you of home or happy times.
  • Set up a designated workspace separate from your chill zone.

Stress Disorders: Extreme Stress Anxiety And Depression

Weve talked about how stress can be healthy for some people some of the time. However, there are also many ways for stress to manifest in unhealthy disorders. Being aware of the potential stress disorders can help you spot the difference between instances of healthy stress and dangerous stress-related conditions.

When In Doubt Write It Out

Research suggests that when you are feeling stressed, rather than avoid the uncomfortable feeling, it is better for you to address it by writing about it. Studies show that individuals who write out the causes of their stress, thoughts, and emotions tend to do better academically. To do this activity effectively it is recommended that you write everything you are feeling with no hesitation or worry.

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Acute Stress Disorder And Ptsd

Acute stress disorder and PTSD are both stress disorders that can occur after a traumatic event. If you have ASD or PTSD, then you may experience dissociation from your daily life, re-experience the traumatic event thats causing your stress disorder, feel tense or on edge constantly, and have trouble sleeping. You may be at risk for ASD or PTSD following a traumatic event, such as harassment or sexual assault, at your school or outside of it.

Managing Stress In College


Sometimes stressful situations are unavoidable. However, this doesnt mean that stress has to take over your life. There are things you can do to manage your stress and ensure that it doesnt get out-of-control.


Getting enough sleep is crucial for your emotional well-being. , you can actually improve your mental health. More sleep can give you more energy, which could allow you to make it through stressful situations more easily.

Eat Well

Similar to getting enough sleep, a healthy diet can also have far-reaching effects on your outlook and energy levels. Like sleep, a good diet may improve your mental health, potentially making it easier to deal with stressful situations in your life.


Many students have access to a campus recreation center, where they can exercise while at school. Students who go to school online can find gyms and other recreation centers in their own communities, or try workouts that can be done in the home. By finding time in your daily routine to get some exercise, you can make your body healthier and give yourself more tools to fight stress. Eating well and getting enough physical activity are both essential for staying healthy in college and managing stress.

Find a Stress Outlet

Join a Support Group

Volunteer Your Time

Avoid Stimulants

Set Realistic Expectations

Learn Relaxation Techniques

Get Organized

Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Stress And Worry

Be Realistic About Your Course Load

College is an entirely different game than high school, and it can be hard to determine just how difficult a class or program will be.

Theres nothing wrong with aiming high and being ambitious. But if your course load is causing you to feel overwhelmed and anxious, it may be time to reevaluate.

If you made it to college, this isnt your first rodeo of tests, papers, and pressure. Evaluate the classes you registered for, Hafeez says.

You know your capabilities better than anyone. If you really bit off more than is realistic, it might be time to rethink your schedule and see if you need to re-engineer it and perhaps not take quite so many credits in a semester. Talk with a professor on campus, and get some guidance from them.

When choosing courses, be sure to factor in other time commitments, like work and extracurricular activities. And dont forget to factor in adequate time for rest.

Identifying what triggers your anxiety can make it easier for you to manage it. Once you know whats setting off your anxiety, you can begin to find ways to tackle or avoid your triggers, depending on what they are.

Anything from certain lifestyle choices to whats going at school or home can be triggers.

Are you drinking a lot of caffeine or alcohol? Are you staying up too late? Does your diet now consist of less nutrient-rich food? These things can also lend to anxiety and make you feel pretty crappy overall.

Things That Can Help With Stress

Short periods of stress are normal and can often be resolved by something as simple as completing a task which cuts down your workload, or by talking to others and taking time to relax.

It might also help to:

  • Work out what it is that’s making you feel stressed. For example, is it exams, money or relationship problems? See if you can change your circumstances to ease the pressure you’re under.
  • Try to have a healthy lifestyle. Eat well, get enough sleep, be physically active , cut down on alcohol, and take time to relax as well as working and studying.
  • Avoid drugs, including lots of caffeine – this can have a negative impact on your stress levels and wellbeing.
  • Try not to worry about the future or compare yourself with others.
  • Try relaxation and breathing exercises.
  • Try to plan your time to help you keep track of your work. Break it down into manageable chunks so you can keep up with deadlines.
  • Try talking to a friend, tutor or someone in your family about your stress.
  • Read about how to cope with the stress of exams.

Also Check: How To Relieve My Cats Stress

Huntington Learning Center Del Mar

While the idea of college might excite your student, SAT stress and ACT stress are very real. This aspect of the college journey can be overwhelming for many. Students want to put their best foot forward on those college applications, but preparing for yet another exam in addition to their school work is a lot.

Consider these tips on how to deal with stress related to the SAT/ACT:

  • Make that studying count. The best way to mitigate stress when taking the SAT/ACT or any exam, of course, is to study effectively! Encourage your students to give themselves a few months to prepare. Last-minute studying isnt as likely to yield strong results. Focused studying on the areas where your students skills are weakest is essential. Also, the more time your student takes to become familiar with question types, structure and timing, the more comfortable they will be on test day.
  • Get organized. Just as it is important to stay organized in school, a detailed study plan will help your student enhance their studying. That plan should carve out time every week, ideally every day, for SAT/ACT prep. It should be developed based on your students strengths and weaknesses. That way, every study session is focused and your student doesnt spend too much time on certain areas and not enough on others.
  • Work on test-taking strategies. There are many tips and tricks on the SAT/ACT exams that your student should know to do their best. A few examples:
  • About Huntington

    Being Disciplined To Reduce Stress

    A Boston University Student’s Guide for Coping with College Stress and Anxiety
  • 1Make a to-do list. Keep a daily list of what you need to accomplish. This will help you prioritize, delegate, and reschedule your tasks to make things more manageable.
  • 2Learn how to say no when you dont want to do things for others. Adding yet another obligation to your schedule when you’re already stressed won’t help anyone. It’ll add to your own anxiety and may well result in you letting someone down. Learn to say no when you can’t handle more.Advertisement
  • 3Stay on a study schedule. Stress can rear its head even more than usual during exam times. To help with these periods of potential anxiety, make a schedule and stick to it. Factor in breaks for relaxation, exercise, and healthy meals, and make sure you spread your study time across your different subjects, focusing on ones where you need more help.
  • 4Don’t procrastinate. It’s easy to push off assignments until the last minute, but this can end up being a huge stressor when you’re down to the wire on time. Try to tackle tasks as you’re assigned them, rather than putting them off until later.
  • 5Think positively about your time at college. Higher education can lead to the career that you’ve always dreamed of having. It will be worth it in the end, even if you feel overwhelmed at times now. To help you get through the extra-stressful periods, mix in some fun activities and relaxation.Advertisement
  • Read Also: Can Stress Affect Diabetes 2

    Tips For College Students To Manage Stress During Covid

    Take Care of Your Basic Needs First

    In an uncertain time, try to focus on the things that you can control. Prioritize your sleep, time for breaks in the day and eating healthy meals. Practicing mindfulness is another basic way to manage stress.

    Stay Organized

    Planning out your days can give you structure, even if youre doing college remotely. Try out a new planner or using Google Calendar to keep track of your tasks and your schedule. You will feel a lot less stressed when you know what your day ahead looks like. To stay organized, also focus on creating a space that works for you, where you can feel comfortable and tune into your schoolwork.

    Get Regular Exercise

    Being active is always a great stress-reducer. Exercise can give you peace of mind and a much needed break from daily tasks. Even if its just a walk around the neighborhood or a short virtual yoga class, having a routine for physical activity can be a wonderful remedy for stress.

    Find Support

    Even if your college has transitioned to the remote setting, there are still student groups that you can join. Many student groups will continue to meet, even if its through a virtual setting. By joining a student group, you can find people with similar passions and who are likely experiencing the same stressors as you. Having people you can talk to and lean on for support during this uncertainty can be incredibly beneficial for your mental health.

    Recognize That Your Peers and Professors Are Going Through It Too

    Talk To Someone You Trust

    Sometimes you just need someone to listen to you. Its not okay to keep everything inside. Do you have a friend you trust? Share your worries and youll find support. Your family is there for you, too.

    If you feel like your problems are too big and you dont want to make the people around feel bad, talk to a counselor. They might recommend a psychotherapist, who will help you get through the times of difficulty and become strong enough to move forward.

    Recommended Reading: How Do I Relieve Stress And Anxiety

    Tips To Reduce And Manage Stress

    Knowing how to properly and healthily manage stress is a crucial tool for college students. Using effective stress management techniques can help you moderate and calm yourself during stressful times and help your academic, social, and emotional experiences in college be more positive and successful. While there is no perfect way to completely eliminate stress, here are a few tips to try to help manage and reduce it:

    Reward Yourself With Breaks

    How To Deal With Stress In College

    No one ever succeeded in managing stress by taking on more pressure. Like everyone else, you need a break once in a while. Do not feel guilty about taking some time off for much-needed rest and relaxation. Go see a movie, get a massage, do some shopping, and treat yourself to a nice meal. The time you spend freeing yourself from the pressures of college life is time well-spent. Do this reasonably and regularly and you will soon enjoy the rhythm of working hard and giving yourself a reward in between spikes in productivity.

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    Helping Your College Student Cope With Stress

    College students experience a lot of stress. As parents, some of us are acutely aware of our childrens stress levels, and to others of us it may be less obvious. While some level of stress can actually be beneficial many college students find the increased pressure or anxiety that are part of the experience of college difficult to manage.

    Consider some of the following information gathered about student stress as you think about your own students potential stress levels. Discuss some of these findings with your student to help him realize that he, and/or his friends, may not be alone if they are experiencing anxiety.

    College students experience a lot of stress but its not all bad

    The Associated Press and MTV conducted a survey of college students in 2009 to consider college student stress. They surveyed over 2,200 students at 40 randomly chosen colleges throughout the United States. Although the survey is several years old, the results have not changed much, or may be even more concerning in recent years. Some of the findings of this College Stress and Mental Health poll are included below.

    • 85% of students feel stressed on a daily basis
    • 60% of students at some time have felt stress to the point of not being able to get work done
    • 70% of students have never considered talking to a counselor about their stress
    • 84% of students reach out to friends to help them with their stress
    • 67% of students reach out to parents for help with stress

    What causes college students stress?

    College Life: 10 Ways To Reduce Stress

    College can be an exciting time, but also a stressful one. Learn 10 ways to tackle stress management.

    No one is immune from stress, but those entering the ivory towers of college are particularly vulnerable to it.

    When you get to college, its usually a fairly sizable life change, says J. David Forbes, MD, a Nashville, Tenn., physician specializing in stress management. Its the first time youre off on your own. Youre out from any kind of adult jurisdiction. That can bring an overwhelming number of choices.

    Stress occurs when your tension level exceeds your energy level, resulting in an overloaded feeling. As long as our available energy exceeds our tension level, then were in an okay state, Dr. Forbes says. But if energy is low and tensions are higher, then that can result in a state of anxiety, depression, and feeling overwhelmed.

    College: Stress Management

    If you feel like your brain is melting under the crush of books, classes, and papers, dont freak out. Follow our stress-management tips to help relieve the pressure.

  • Eat well. A steady diet of pizza and vending-machine fare can decrease energy levels in the body, leading to a lower threshold for stress. You end up feeling very tired and looking for the same to kick you back up, Forbes says. Its a lousy cycle of hunting for short-term comfort food or sugar highs that actually keep you feeling worse. Follow a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
  • Recommended Reading: Why Do I Overeat When Stressed

    Improve Your Time Management

    Many are hesitant to admit it, but it is true that one of the common causes of stress is poor time management. Students tend to procrastinate so much that by the time they get to working on their projects, they have far too little time to produce excellent work. Always take advantage of the time professors give. Do not wait until it is almost the deadline before starting. You will save a lot of trouble by managing your time well.

    Maintain A Healthy Diet

    How To Deal With Stress At School

    A healthy diet is key to getting through a stressful season. Eating healthy foods can help stabilize your blood pressure and blood sugar levels, which cause many of the physical symptoms of stress. Its also important to start your day off with a balanced breakfast and maintain regular meals throughout the day. Foods like oatmeal, yogurt, salmon, blueberries, lean meats, nuts, and avocados can assist with stress relief. What you drink can also help in managing stress. Avoid drinking more caffeinated or sugary drinks than necessary, and try incorporating more milk, water, and herbal tea into your diet.

    Read Also: How To Relieve Stress In Neck And Shoulders

    Managing Stress As A Student

    There are many ways you can manage your stress as a college student. Just as everyone experiences stress in their own way, we all have our preferred methods of coping with it. However, not all stress management strategies are healthy, and some may leave you feeling even worse than you did before.

    To overcome stress while going to school, its crucial to learn how to cope with it productively. After all, you cant control the stressors in your life, but you can choose how to respond to them.

    Unhealthy ways to manage stress.

    Smoke, use drugs, or drink

    Though it may be tempting to reach for a cigarette or glass of wine after a difficult day, it may not be the best way to unwind. Smoking, drinking, or using drugs may offer a stress relief in the short-term, but after their effects wear off, you may find yourself feeling more stressed than before. For instance, researchers have found that drinking alcohol can actually exacerbate stress.

    Spend compulsively

    When youre feeling down, your instinct may be to go buy yourself a treat as a pick-me-up. Buying yourself a gift every once in a while is fine, but if shopping or spending money is your go-to method of relief, you may be creating more stress for yourself by putting a strain on your finances or adding objects you dont really want to your home.

    Over and under eat

    Ignore the stressor

    Procrastinate with social media, streaming services, etc.

    Healthy ways to manage stress.

    Confront the stressor

    Spend time with loved ones

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