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Coping with College Stress

Herbert Cewaig -- College can be a difficult time. Course loads can take up more time than expected and be very challenging to complete. On top of a rigorous course load, exams come up and add extra stress.

Academics aren't the only stressor in college. Socializing and dating add even more pressure to students. The new freedom that comes with the college lifestyle is so different from times before college that students often don't know how to handle it.

Students who don't know how to respond to the added pressures of college can feel helpless and alone. It's common for students who feel this way to begin depending on coping skills that aren't good for them. This, however, doesn't have to happen to everybody. Healthy, alternative coping mechanisms do exist to make living through college easier and more enjoyable.

One thing that can be done is proper time management. Keeping track of everything you need to do and when you need to do it by will make it less overwhelming. An easy way to do this is to carry a planner or have a calendar at home. Just by writing everything down, you can lower your chances of procrastination, forgetting about assignments, and the stress that comes with those.

The next thing you can do is uphold healthy habits. The crucial part of this is ensuring you get enough sleep to feel well-rested and productive the next day. It's also a good idea to eat well and exercise.

Setting goals that you can reach can significantly decrease stress. Something many students do is set themselves up for failure by trying to be flawless or by taking on everything at once. Think about what you want to do and set goals for right now and for the future to help you get there.

A simple-sounding idea for combating stress is to develop ways to deal with it when it does come up. People have varying interests, so there is a very wide range of things you can do. Well-known coping techniques are doing yoga, exercising, writing, and simply breathing deeply. Everybody is different, so figure out what works for you and do it often.

Finally, if the stress becomes more than you can handle, seek help. Colleges and universities everywhere usually offer free counseling services because they know how tough school can be. There are also support groups on most campuses that you can attend if you have a specific problem. There's no reason to feel shameful about needing help because many students are going through the same thing.

Having stress is inescapable. It can arise time and time again, or maybe just during exams. By using the possibilities above, you can spend less time stressing and more time enjoying life.

© 2015 Herbert Cewaig

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