11 Stress Management Tips I Wish I Knew Before I Came To College
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11 Stress Management Tips I Wish I Knew Before I Came To College

You have two options: Control your stress or let it control you.

11 Stress Management Tips I Wish I Knew Before I Came To College
Huiles & Sens

As my first year of college begins to come to a close, I’ve had time to fully grasp the beauties of college: The parties, the attractive men and the freedom. While I am completely in love with my university and the experiences I’ve had there, I’ve also had time to fully grasp what they never seem to tell you about college: The emotional breakdowns, the stress and the days you just want to lay in your bed and forget about everything. I thought I could handle the stresses that came with college. I was clearly wrong, and the emotional and mental breakdowns still crept up and affected me. In lieu of that, hopefully I can shed some knowledge on how to stay cool, calm, and collected despite the erratic world around you.

1. The professors with the horrible rating on RateMyProfessor.com will most likely be just as they are described.

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Your professor will not magically become a completely different person with you (although, there are always exceptions). With that being said, believe in RateMyProfessor. Trust in RateMyProfessor. Adhere to RateMyProfessor. Actually use RateMyProfessor.

2. You won’t want to do work the day after partying.

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You just won’t. Plan out the work you have to do and when you have to get it done before you go out and structure your work schedule around that.

3. Get alone time.

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This is an extremely important tip. College is beautiful. It’s filled with some of the most influential and long-lasting friends you’ll ever have. College, however, is also chaotic, and it’s crucial for your mental well-being to be alone and clear your mind. Take a walk, go to the store, anything just make sure you get the valuable and much needed time with the person who arguably matters most in your life: You.

4. Keep your room clean!

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A messy room is a messy life! This may sound dumb, but once your room is clean, you feel so much more in control. You feel like you’ve actually gotten something accomplished and your life, due to some weird cosmic rule, feels less stressed out.

5. Stop procrastinating.

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This is easier said than done and is one of my biggest problems. I think we can all agree that holding off 19 different assignments until the day before it’s due is a recipe for:

  1. Disaster
  2. Failure (because, face it, are you really going to get the grade you want if you spent two hours on a 15-page paper?)
  3. A mental breakdown

6. Take breaks from work.

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This is another problem of mine, but sometimes you have to take a step back from the desk and restart your brain after mindlessly reading the same paragraph three times in a row. Not to mention, if you’re studying for hours upon hours with no break, none of the information sticks with you.

7. Use a planner.

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This is a major key. This is a tip that is told often, but it works and it works extremely well. You won’t remember everything you have to do, even if you think you will. Don’t just write down your schoolwork. Write down everything you need to get accomplished: Appointments, internships or jobs you need to apply for, meetings, etc. Not only does this keep your life orderly so you remember all the important details (trust me, there’s nothing worse than remembering you have something due in 10 minutes), it also gives you satisfaction when you cross things off the list. You feel like you’re truly getting yourself together, although I question if, at our age, we can ever really get our lives together.

8. People are going to change. You are going to change. That’s okay.

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It’s OK if you feel like you’re beginning to outgrow people that used to be in your life. College is supposed to change you, hopefully into a better person. You have to be honest with yourself and the people around you. Sometimes, the people you once grew with may have peaked and you’re still reaching for the sun. That’s perfectly fine, and it’s not at all your fault.

9. Budget your money.

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Another one of my many struggles as a college student. This is pretty self-explanatory, but also easier said than done. When your account overdrafts and your mother calls you, yelling because of the overdraft fee, you’ll understand.

10. Find the best therapeutic method for you.

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For me, writing, reading (when I can), listening to music and meditating help. Whenever I get stressed, I just pop on my “Songs for When You’re Down” playlist and escape my seemingly bleak life to a more colorful and musically pleasing one. But what works for me may not work for you. You may hate writing, you may have a strong distaste for reading, and you may even like doing math problems to help you de-stress. Yes, some people actually do math problems for fun. In any case, find what floats your therapeutic boat and use it as much as you need to.

11. The final and one of the most important tips to a less-stressful college experience: Soak up every drop of life you can.

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Enjoy life. Explore. Have fun. College is undoubtedly hard, and if you plan on going to graduate school like myself, you have to keep your GPA high. But “don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.” When you go out and enjoy the pleasantries the world has to offer, somehow, magically, your blood pressure goes down and your mind stops racing with all of things you have to deal with. Just sitting on the courtyard at my school with the sun’s rays warming my skin made me feel less apprehensive about the 30-page research proposal I have due. You can find time to enjoy yourself and enjoy your life in the midst of all the work and drama. It’s possible. You just have to force it sometimes.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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