Managing College Stress

9 Ways To De-Stress In College As Told By 'Spongebob Squarepants'

Have you recently just finished an exam? Gone through a stressful or traumatic week? If you said yes, then this is for you.

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Life can be really stressful at times, especially for a college student. With your grades, assignments, and exams weighing you down, it's always a good idea to have ways to relieve the pressure. Here are some ways to de-stress in the hectic college life, courtesy of "Spongebob Squarepants."

1. Write it down.

If there's something that you just have to get out of your chest, that you just don't have the time or courage to tell someone, write down those frustration on a piece of paper. Write down anything that comes to mind, good or bad. Just let your feelings out instead of bottled up.

2. Take a break.

If everything happening in your life is too hectic or feels like too much, make sure you catch a breather. Take a thirty-minute nap when you're absolutely exhausted or take five to 15-minute breaks when studying. Remember to eat and drink often and use these needs to give yourself a pause from the busy day.

3. Stay in and pull out your stash of movies. 

A hectic week usually means little sleep, naps at any opportunity, lots and lots of study and assignments, and very little time to watch your favorite shows. Now that time allows it, you can marathon your favorite Halloween movies.

4. Take a walk in the nice weather.

With the weather starting to cool down in the Midwest, walks outside sound more tempting than the humid weather of the month before. Use this opportunity to pause on the assignments and enjoy some time in the fresh air.

5. Talk with someone.

Similar to writing a letter, letting out your feelings – in a healthy manner - to someone can be a serious relief. Rant about how busy you've been, your frustrations about classes, or your hopes and needs.

6. Spend time in a familiar place.

After a long day, there's nothing better than going to a place that makes you feel at ease. This can be spending time in your bedroom, visiting your favorite café, or visiting home if possible, anywhere that makes you feel at peace and relaxed.

7. Plan an outing with friends and family.

A full schedule of assignments, exams, and events usually mean spending less and less time with friends or family. After times of loaded schedules, planning something with friends or family can help wind you down. A movie day, brunch, lunch, dinner, or simply meeting up would be a good way to de-stress. And if you're able to, plan a day to surprise your family by paying them a visit.

8. DIY a spa day.

Although it's tempting to empty your wallet on getting your nails or brows done, getting a facial, or spending time at a spa, a college budget doesn't really allow that. Having an at-home spa session with some face masks, tea, and bathrobe with your favorite tv show on in the background can be a wallet-friendly relaxation alternative.

9. Clean up.

Maybe it's just me, but seeing a chaotic room in the midst of my chaotic week doesn't really help with toning down the stress. Clean up the clothes on the floor, do the laundry, sweep the floor, and organize those shelves and desk. Seeing a clean room will bring some relief and put your mind more at ease.

It's always good to have something to boost your mood during times of stress. Hopefully, trying out one of these tips helps you relieve pressure and feel rejuvenated.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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16 Struggles That Give All Retail Workers Nightmares, Even After They've Worked Their Last Shift

Let's just hope my boss doesn't see this.

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If you haven't worked in retail, count your blessings. This summer will mark my third official retail job, and let's just say I am less than excited to return to the dreaded retail employee lifestyle. There are so many cons that we have to put up with on the daily, is it even worth the minimum wage salary?

1. Waking up every weekday morning before your shift and contemplating whether the money is worth it

"Is dragging myself out of bed worth my cheque of $500 before taxes?"

2. And if you're lucky enough, being blessed with the task of opening

Two words: kill me.

3. Having to fake a smile for the entirety of your shift.

And if that isn't bad enough, having your amazing customers remind you to "smile" while you're internally just trying not to lose your shit.

4. Being stuck with the lazy coworkers on your shift

I don't have time to do my job and also teach you how to do yours. Next.

5. And the worst one of all, dealing with the most absurd questions from your customers

No, I won't give you something for free because you have been shopping here for years. I can give you a store credit card, though.

6. Even worse? Having to listen to the weirdest stories from your customers

I once had a customer narrate her entire infidelity and divorce story to me, and I awkwardly had to sympathize while just trying to print her papers. At one point she reached over the register and tried hugging me. Not a fun time.

7. Being yelled at during rush times when you're trying your best

Yes, lady, I understand the line is long. But you're going to have to wait on it just like everyone else. I'm not going to roll out a special expedited red carpet for you.

8. Explaining something to a customer and receiving the "Can I talk to your manager?" bit every time

Everything I am telling you was taught to me by my, surprise, manager! But I guess the arguing is worth it when we laugh about the whole thing in the break room later.

9. Constantly having to clean up mysterious messes

Maybe it's because my parents raised me better, but whenever I go shopping I try to refrain from making a mess. Customers I have encountered, however, seem to enjoy messing up everything they come in contact with.

10.  I'm sorry that your coupon is expired

I really am. But I guarantee you, no matter how many times I scan your coupon, it will not work.

11.  Customers assuming that you know every damn thing

I once had a customer ask me if I knew who the CEO of my employer was, and when I said no, he told me I needed to do "my research." Yes, thank you, I'll be researching all right — on how to get the heck out of this place.

12.  Not being informed of how much math goes into the job

All the math I have learned, all the way up to Calculus 2, magically disappears from my mind when I'm at the register and need it more than I have ever needed it in my life. Suddenly I don't know how many nickels go in to a dollar.

13.  When customers try getting in despite the very large "CLOSED" sign and locked doors

I promise you, no matter how many times you yank at the door and yell at me to open it, I'm not. It's kind of entertaining watching you go at it, though.

P.S. We are required to log off all cash registers immediately after the set closing time, so there is no point of even trying to get in. You can't buy anything.

14.  Having to stay over your designated shift

Once I was forced to do a 12-hour shift without being informed of prior because one of my coworkers decided to call out "sick." She also ended up getting fired the following week, but I'mma sip my tea.

15.  Talking crap about your workplace with your favorite coworkers

You'll be surprised as to how quickly people can bond over annoying customers and shitty bathrooms. Having great coworkers honestly makes working a billion times more tolerable.

16.  The time we dream about all day and look forward to impatiently: when your shift is finally over

Once I clock out and my uniform is off, I am also mentally clocked the fuck out. Whatever chaos is happening is not my problem. Good luck to those clocking in, though.

If you work in retail, kudos to you, because honestly we're really forced to deal with the worst shit on a daily basis, there is no escape. And if you haven't worked in retail, perhaps this helps you gain insight on our nightmarish lives — so if you're mean to your cashiers, cut it out.

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