Though college can be an amazing journey filled with new and exciting experiences, there are always times when we feel stressed out – especially during freshman year when EVERYTHING we encounter seems new and daunting. During these moments, it’s important to take a second to balance out and eliminate as much of the stress as you can!
Take a peek through our top tips to help keep that stress in check so you can carry on!
Schedule it out and take time for both homework AND social life.
This may be one of the biggest student stresses of all time – especially if you’re still figuring out how much time you need to complete all that homework. The first step is determining how you study best. For example, if you work well in groups, you can join a study group, which is a great way to make friends, consult with peers, and improve your grades – all while still being social. On the other hand, if you know you work better alone when you have lots of quiet time, it may be in your best interest to head on over to the library for a few hours of study time. This is also a great natural separator between work and play because, once you come back to your dorm, you can have a guilt-free Netflix binge-watching session with your roommates!
Balance your alone time with your friend time.
Spending time with friends throughout the day is one of the best aspects of college life on campus! While it’s important to make plenty of time to hang out with friends, it’s also great to schedule in some alone time for yourself to reflect on your goals. Take the time to do something creative, like writing or painting, or just to lay down and relax. With the hectic college lifestyle, it’s also a good idea to set aside some time for mindful meditation even if it’s just 10 minutes each day. Some days will be easier than others to find the time, but even if you manage to squeeze it in just a few days each week, it can make a big difference in your stress levels!
Find yourself a hobby.
One of the best ways to keep from stressing about school work, applying for internships, and college life in general is to find a hobby or activity you love. Don’t know where to start? You don’t have to paint model planes to have a hobby (although you can if you want!) Anything from joining a book club or rec sports team, indulge in your love for music, or get out there and learn a new skill. Gardening or getting involved with a community garden is also a perfect way to reduce stress and connect a bit with nature…and may even improve your cooking skills! These activities allow you to be in the moment, leaving you little time to stress about that upcoming exam or paper due next week.
Eat healthy and exercise.
It’s easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of eating too much junk food and not getting enough exercise when you’re loaded with work. A great way to combat unhealthy eating is to replace your unhealthy snacks with granola bars, fruit, and nuts that you can carry around with you and eat wherever you may be during the day. Look for healthy options at the dining hall, including adding some items from the salad bar to your meal. Check out some of our fave recipes for inspiration! Can’t find the motivation to get to the gym? Check on campus for exercise or yoga classes you can participate in and give yourself some important me-time. If you can’t make it to the gym, spend more time walking around campus, even if it’s just a brief 20 minute walk a few days a week, the rush of endorphins is worth the walk, and naturally knocks out any stress that’s hanging around!
Don’t forget that YOU are your most important resource.
Take care of yourself and make sure you get what you need out of your life each day so that you can reach your fullest potential! Even if you have to say no to hanging out with friends once in a while because you just need a day to recharge – that is 100% okay! Listen to your mind and body when making decisions about budgeting your time because only YOU know what you really need in order to stay away from stress!
Written by Guest Blogger, Ilana S. of Rutgers U
How do you keep calm and manage your stress on campus? Share your tips with us @BNCollege