If you are just now entering university, or if you’ve been attending college for a year or two, you know more than anyone how tough the transition can be. For the first time in your life, you’re living along or with people not part of your family. You often must start your social life over from scratch. This doesn’t even include the fact that you’ll be faced with challenging academic work that will have you staying up, at least occasionally, all night long.Let’s face it—college life is stressful, and many young adults experience during their college years depression and anxiety for the first time. Here are a few tips for dealing with college stress:
1. Realize from the beginning that nothing is worth compromising your health over.
In college, you’ll be under pressure in many different ways. If you attend a competitive school, pressure to get the best grades possible is a constant source of stress. Remember that in the grand scheme of things, grades won’t matter. One B or C won’t ruin your future career. If you have to choose between a lower letter grade and quality sleep/your sanity, choose the latter.
2. Keep in touch with your family. It’s more important than you think it is.
At first, you may be slightly irritated that your parents call you all the time, and you try your best to keep these conversations short. Be aware, however, that your parents are your greatest allies when it comes to dealing with stress in college. Even if you were somewhat distant with them in high school, or if you argued a lot, you’ll soon find that physical distance draws you closer, and as you grow older you become more understanding of each other. Call your parents periodically, especially when you’re frustrated. They’ll be there for you.
3. Stick to a routine that includes regular sleep hours, a healthy diet, and physical activity.
In college, it’s always difficult to stick to any sort of routine. College life is simply often not really all that conducive to stable existence, so you’ll have to try doubly hard to maintain a regular schedule. Be sure that you plan each of your days such that you have time to sleep at least seven hours when possible. Skip the greasy or fatty options at the cafeteria, or try cooking your own meals. Join an intramural sports team, or at least go for a jog every other day. Maintaining your health in college is really the key to making you feel your best and perform your best, too.
4. Don’t feel pressured to join any social group.
There are as many, if not more, social pressures in college as there are in high school. Peer pressure is a lot more rampant, given the freedom from supervision that you have. There will still be social cliques, and they can be even more vicious and exclusive than when you were younger. Just remember that years from now, none of the social pressures will matter. Almost everyone I know keeps in touch with only their best friends from college. Instead of focusing on becoming part of some popular social group, focus on developing solid, lifelong friendships.
The most important thing to remember as you continue your journey through college is that these will be some of the best, most fun years of your life. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh, work hard, and enjoy your free time. Good luck!
About the Author: Angelita Williams offers life long learning tips in her articles on college education, lifestyle, and wellness management.
- A YouTube Introduction to College, by Just Clicking Play (thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com)