5 Tips to Reduce Stress as a College Student

Article Shasta Garcia

College students deal with stress daily. I know because I’m a college student myself. We are constantly being bombarded with assignments, exams, and questions about our future. It can often make our college experience more difficult than it needs to be. That’s why I wanted to share 5 tips to reduce stress. These tips have helped me recognize what’s important and I hope these help you manage your college schedule and enjoy your time at Sac State.

1. Use a planner 

This may seem like a silly tip, but a planner can seriously make a difference in your stress level. Now, this doesn’t have to be a paper planner – even though I find it satisfying to cross off things I’ve done. I bought mine at Ross for only $2.99! Beat that. But, if you prefer something on your phone – there are plenty of apps you can download. Both methods with help keep your homework and exam deadlines organized. I find that a planner makes the craziness of the college workload manageable.

I suggest getting on the planner train at the start of the semester (ideally!) At the start of each semester, I usually read through each syllabus and write down all of the important dates. Right away this gives me an idea of what’s expected. Not to mention, this will also help you stay away from procrastinating because you have no excuse. You will know what needs to be done and when it is due.

Get yourself a planner!

2. Stop saying “What if…”

The two words “what if” are at the root of my anxiety about 98% of the time. No joke. What if I fail this exam? What if I’m late for class? What if I can’t find parking? What if I don’t have enough money my tuition next semester? What if I don’t make any friends? Ok. You get the point.

What if can create worry and leave you with crippling anxiety. I never realized how pointless it was to worry about something that hasn’t happened until it didn’t. I worried about failing my exam and kept saying what if, but I got an A. I could have saved myself stress if I just stopped saying what if.

Let’s face it…what if doesn’t help. So, stop saying it! You’ll thank me later.

Take time for yourself 

This tip can be hard to implement. I get it, you have so many other things to do! After you complete something on your to-do list – take a break. You will recharge, feel happier, and will be motivated to get work done. I usually try to set aside 15 to 30 mins between tasks. During that time, I do something completely unrelated to work or school. For instance, I pray, workout, or even play a board game with my little sisters. I have never regretted taking a few moments for myself.

If you don’t take time for yourself – you will be overwhelmed and ultimately S-T-R-E-S-S-E-D.

Set aside 15 minutes today.

4. Surround yourself with like-minded people 

We all want to be understood. Some people don’t understand the stress that college students endure. That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with like-minded people. Making friends with other college students is the first step. You can vent to them and they will most likely understand. The second step is to find people who live their life similar to yours. For instance, if you’re an athlete – only another athlete will know how much time that takes up! You can study together between practices. If you are a Christian, you can meet other Christians on campus. You can pray and even read the Bible together. Go meet other people and join a club! 

You never know until you try.

***This tip will enhance your college experience! I promise. It’s hard to endure the college journey – alone.

5. Make it fun!  

You may be thinking to yourself….how do I make college fun? Well, there are many ways.

First, you don’t have to do homework in silent. I usually blast worship music, drink coffee, and even sit with a facial mask on sometimes. I’ve even done my homework at Round Table with friends during the buffet hour – unlimited pizza and salad. Did I mention? There’s also Wi-Fi! Change up your study area.Secondly, you don’t just have to commute back and forth or go back straight to your dorm. You can get involved on campus. Sac State always has events with food and activities. This will give you positive memories to look back on.

Time flies. Before you know it – you will be walking across the graduation stage about to accept your diploma. Your hard work will pay off! Don’t give up

Remember…buy yourself a planner, stop saying “what if”, make time for yourself, hang out with people who get you, and have fun!

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