How to Handle the Stress of College Life
There are three parts of life which get more common as you get older: death, taxes and stress. While hopefully most college students have not had to deal with the first two frequently, stress is a very common bedfellow for many people at Pacific.
It piles up more and more as you get older, so you might as well learn how to deal with it now. So, here are some tips to help college students deal with stress during and after school.
Plan ahead with a planner. Yes, this is pretty much the first response most people would give someone asking for stress-reduction advice. However, there is a reason this is always the first proposed solution. Having something to present what you have to do in visual form is a useful reality check for people. It helps you visualize what you have to do, and how much time you need to dedicate to getting it done. Plus, getting in the habit of writing important dates and notes in one place is beneficial for life after graduation.
Use your free time wisely. When you finish a big essay or take an important midterm, the last activity you want to do is something productive. You just want to drink, relax, drink, eat, watch television and drink, again. While all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, don’t devote all your free time to relaxation. If you can do some work, or finish one part of a project, get it done two weeks beforehand. You do not have to work all day – just an hour or two spent on prep work can go a long way to reducing stress in the future.
Don’t procrastinate. It does not matter what you have to do, whether it is homework, an essay, studying for tests, applying for graduate school or jobs, going to the gym, doing your laundry, fixing your car or finally, asking out your special someone. Stop thinking up excuses or exaggerating the small yet barely passable ones. Be an adult, suck it up and get the job done.
Have some perspective. One of the biggest stress mistakes that people make is lumping everything together and dealing with the whole. People do not take each individual challenge as it is, but as yet another hurdle in the big race to the finish. Handle the problem as it is by itself. Breaking down problems bit by bit makes them more manageable. Also, realize you are a college student at a very prestigious university. Life could be a lot worse.
Take it from someone in one of the most stress-filled positions in the entire university: These tips work. Hopefully these tactics will help you in your quest to relieve your stress.