Eighty percent, a hefty number, right? This number is the amount of college students that say they frequently or sometimes experience daily stress, as reported by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. This statistic may seem outrageous and excessive to the common person, but to most college students, this is an accepted state of being. This anxious and stressed way of life is a daily struggle for us all. We get wrapped up in it, and it consumes every aspect of our lives, leaving many of us to feel helpless.
But I say, "No." No, we will not succumb to this stress. So, without further ado, I have compiled a short list of things many of us need to hear or enjoy hearing when we find ourselves slipping into our stressed ways. Though simple, these things often help me grasp a hold on reality and realize that everything is going to be just fine, and I can only hope these things will do the very same for others.
1. Let It Out
Too often, we bottle our emotions inside. We let them fester until we can no longer hold it in anymore, and essentially, we explode and fall apart. We do this because we feel we have to put on a brave face and contain everything because we have fellow college friends battling their own problems. However, it's completely OK to have our moments of pure, raw emotion. It's OK to cry. It's OK to scream. We cannot continuously withhold such strong emotions and expect to be fine and able to move about our days normally. Sometimes, we just have to let it all out. In fact, the best thing is to have a close friend hold us and reassure us that it's OK to release all those pent-up emotions.
2. Let's go get food!
Food is the best stress reliever. I don't know about you, but when my best friend comes rolling in and asks if I want Krispy Kreme, my stress is immediately lifted. Quite possibly, this could be because it's an escape from the immense stress I'm feeling. Nothing is better than diving into a carb-filled, sugary meal or snack. Indulging in your senses and taking a step back from everything is one of the key steps to dealing with your stress.
3. C's get degrees.
Every now and then, we get a test or an assignment back, and our grade isn't a pretty one. In fact, we fail things, and that alone is enough to place an overwhelming amount of stress on us. We start to doubt our abilities and beat ourselves up. Truly, this shouldn't be something that sets us back but rather empower us to continue to work as hard as we do. We should always appreciate how hard we work, no matter the grade we receive in the end. We should derive our self-worth from the amount of effort we put into our work. So, in short, if you did your best, don't stress. Try again next time, and move forward.
4. Everything is temporary.
This stress is not forever. I know it may feel as if everything is falling apart and that things won't improve, but this is all temporary. All of the bad feelings that are inside you will pass. In this time of sadness and distress, it is important to realize that good times are ahead. At the end of every dark time, there is a moment of light. That light is something you should look forward to when you feel so alone in the dark. Keep looking forward to better times, and try not to focus so much on the stress going on at the present moment.
5. You are important.
During my moments of stress, I find myself feeling so small. I feel so engulfed in my emotions, and it's hard to feel bigger than the emotions I'm surrounded in. But this is my message to you: you are important. The stress you're feeling is valid. The emotions you're having are important. Everything you do in this world is important, and you deserve to feel that way, no matter how much you may be dealing with.
6. You will be successful.
In the wake of all this stress, it's normal to feel like all of this stress will dominate your life. It's normal to feel like it may destroy you and that you may succumb to it all. It's normal to think your future is at stake. However, you can do this. You will be successful. What will determine your success is not the way your stress dominates you, but more so the way you dominate your stress. Once you overcome the stress and realize that you are the sole voice in all your decisions, you will realize that your future is yours to craft into whatever you wish. You will be successful in every measure. You will be successful as a friend. You will be successful as a daughter or son. You will be successful as a sister or brother. You will be successful as a lover. You will be successful as a person. That's all you need to hear.
So, take these things, listen to them, assess their validity in your life, and take every step to becoming your own happy, stress-free person.