How to Manage Stress in College

Stress is something akin to an illness; it disrupts the body and mind’s natural balance. Much like any other illness, stress stems from situations formed by our environment. It could be receiving a poor grade, breaking up with a significant other, or burdening oneself with high expectations.

This is not to say that stress is inherently bad. Without stress how could one feel compelled to finish (or start) an assignment or react swiftly to a fire alarm in one’s dormitory? However, an excess amount of stress is more detrimental to one’s health, one’s ability to function among their peers, and habits in one’s day to day life (e.g., stress eating, increased agitation, difficulty concentrating, etc.).
Once you can address the cause of one’s stress is when one can work to reduce it. Here are a few tips that can help relieve some tension:


Take that first step and keep going

Sometimes a burst of production is what one would need to feel a bit better about oneself. The more one puts off assignments and other responsibilities, the more unnecessary stress in the long term. Procrastination is difficult to avoid, but tackling assignments step by step is always an option to resolve this frustrating problem.

Make time to improve oneself (physically and mentally)
Regular exercise can help burn off energy generated by stress. Mental exercises such as meditation or challenging one’s thoughts can also help dismiss pent up energy. Even sleeping could improve one’s mental state, so make sure that necessary rest is obtained. Often, sleep deprivation can cause mental issues and increase stress.

Be realistic
It is one thing to set a goal for oneself, but it’s another to constantly criticize oneself for not achieving instant results. Understanding one’s limits and setting smaller goals that lead up to the big ones would allow for personal retrospection and judging of progress.

Reach out
Support from family, friends, and counselors can help one vent out frustrations to those who care about the individual’s well-being.

Plan leisure activities
Pacing oneself is also important so that one does not suffer from overwork and eventually burn-out. Taking regular breaks from studying or other activities to breathe and relax is one of the best ways to alleviate constant pressure.

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