The semester is officially here and in college those first few weeks can be brutal. Do not fret yet friends; and do not call your parents stressed out either. You have the ability to get through it and the strength is right in front of you, all you have to do is harness it.
I have come up with a few ideas that may make that disastrous first couple weeks a little less explosive:
- 1) Go out for a walk/run/jog by yourself
- Ah yes, the beautiful outdoors. Take advantage, especially in your first week of college to get adapted to your surroundings. This week may be the most free time that you have after classes for a while, so take as many opportunities as possible. Allow yourself to clear your mind of everything but the road ahead of you and the trees, flowers and other wildlife that are featured in your area. If you aren’t comfortable walking alone, you can always bring a friend on this adventure and if you do not feel like the surrounding area is safe enough to walk around in, sit on your porch, deck or take a walk around campus if you are there. You would be surprised how much fresh air helps free your mind
- 2) Organize in advance
- If you are stress case, like myself you worry about things (assignments, exams, papers) annoyingly in advance. If you like structure and you want to sleep easier at night the best option may be to pick out a planner and start working. Use colors, sticky notes and different fonts to distinguish homework from work from extra activities. If you are more technology based, there are online planner sources (Google Calendar, MyStudyLife; which is also an app, available for apple and android products!) as well as the calendars on our smart phones to help you connect your schedule digitally.
- 3) Call your loved ones
- But don’t call to complain. Call and get them up to speed on the general events of your life but ask them how they are. Ask about life back home, your siblings and family and what they have planned for the upcoming weeks. You will see soon enough that everyone has stressful moments and theirs will more than likely come up. It is nice to get the pressure off yourself for once and listen into others, even if it is only about your sister forgetting to clean the dishes.
- 4) Free write
- As a writer, this may seem to focus on only the writing community. The truth is that anyone can write if they want to. This does not mean you have to create a novel or book of poetry and it can be something fairly simple. I ran across a notebook in TJ Maxx the other day that was simply designed for the writer to write about one thing they liked or disliked about each day. The point is that writing all of your feelings or thoughts out can calm you down and possibly help you think about those stressful events less or maybe not at all.
These are just a few ways of breaking that first week(s) stress while starting your first or returning year in your college journey. No matter if you are a freshman or a senior, those first weeks can really tire you out.
You have all new classes, professors and expectations for yourself. But remember that you can do this, you are capable of anything and if you want the work to get done…it will always get done.