Handling the Stress of College Life
You may feel like your life is going to be great when you get to college, and get to start making all of your own decisions. Well it is. But at some point, you may have difficulty making
decisions, or you may make some poor choices, or you may just have difficulty adjusting to
college life. If and when that happens, you will have stress, and dealing with it in a
productive way (or preventing it from happening at all) can make all the difference in the world.
College life is full of new experiences and anxieties. It can be the best of times and the worst of times. Meeting new people, learning, and being on your own are the best. Falling behind in class, pulling “all-nighters”; and final exams can be the worst.
Following are several ideas that will help in your college stress reduction program.
- First, and foremost, is getting enough rest. The basic health guideline for sleep is 7-8 hours per night. Unfortunately, the average college student sleeps significantly less than that.
- Another stress management health tip is to eat regularly. Many college students skip breakfast, or maybe go all day without eating. When your body is deprived of regular energy, it makes up for it by lowering your metabolism, or energy level.
- Regular exercise is a necessary part of your stress ease program. Sports, games, and daily physical activity are essential in helping you stay focused and sharp.
- Avoid or moderate all substance use. Alcohol and caffeine are the most widely used and abused substances by college students.
- Caffeine is widely used, especially around exam time. But excess amounts of caffeine can lead to nervousness and forgetfulness.
- Don’t wait until finals week to study. If you do, then you will probably not eat, not rest, not exercise, and drink too much coffee.
The best recipe to ease the stress of college is: Adequate class preparation, plenty of rest, proper nutrition, daily physical activity, and limited substances. College is not just about learning in the classroom; it’s learning how to take care of yourself.