How To Reduce Stress When You Go To College

Going to college is a life changing experience, and it is one that brings many memories with it. However, change of any type can be stressful, and it is important to understand that. Doing what you can to reduce stress is very important. Don’t feel like you are the only one experiencing it either. Instead, use these helpful tips to assist you with reducing stress and being comfortable in your environment.

Visit the College Campus
It is often the unknown that makes us stressed out. The what if scenarios can play through our minds and it isn’t pretty. If it is at all possible, visit the college campus before you sign up. You want to make sure it will be a good fit for you. A huge university may be too intimidating if you graduated from a very small high school.

Explore where your Classes are Located
Once you sign up for classes, find out where they are located. You may not be able to do this until your actual classes begin. Arrive early so you have plenty of time to find where you need to be. Don’t hesitate to ask other students too if you get lost or you can’t find what you are looking for. Stay calm and don’t panic.

Supplies
There are plenty of supplies you may need in order to do well at college. Make sure you have what you need. Don’t go to class without something to write on or paper. Make sure you have the right textbooks for each class. A laptop computer and other items can help you to get more done in less time.

Don’t Overload your Classwork
While you go to college, it can be tempting to take all of your hard classes first. It can be tempting to take an extra class to try to graduate in less time. However, you can easily get overloaded. For each hour of class per week, you should allocate 3 hours of study time. If you take 12 credit hours that is already 48 hours per week taken up. Balance your classes too so you can have one or two really hard classes at a time. They are going to take up the most of your time. If there is a subject you struggle with, take it during a semester when you have other classes that aren’t going to be as difficult for you. This will help you to stay balanced.

Work Less than 10 Hours Per Week
Most college students do need to work, but it shouldn’t be more than 10 hours per week. Your main job needs to be your studies. If you work too much, it is going to increase stress. While you are working, you will be thinking about all the school work you need to get done. It is going to be a time crunch all the time and that becomes exhausting.

Manage your Time
You need to keep your grades up and you need to have time to relax. Successfully managing your time will help you to reduce stress while you are in college. Keep a calendar so you know what you have going on at any given point in time. As much as possible, adhere to a schedule. This includes blocks of free time for relaxing and time to get your laundry and other needs taken care of during the week.

Attend Class
If you missed a class in high school, they likely called your parents. At the very least, you got a call to the principal’s office to discuss the matter. When you are in college, they don’t care if you miss or not. If you don’t show up you will get behind. Attend class when you can but to do so you need to get up and show up. You need to be focused in class too. If you are distracted you are going to miss things the instructor is sharing. You can’t expect to do well in a college class if you don’t show up. This is especially true in those that don’t have very much homework. The majority of your grade is testing and participation.

Plan Ahead for Deadlines
Your instructors will give you a syllabus for each class. Go through it and ask questions. Make sure you understand what you will be required to complete and when you need to complete it. If you have a test each week you need to allocate time to study and prepare. If you have a term paper due in two months that is enormous, don’t wait to start working on it. Break it down and start doing some of it every single week. Get your topic, your resources, and conduct your research. Then you can write a rough draft. Later, you can go back and edit it. Then you can finish it up with your sources being sited. If you do one of those steps each week, it will all fall in place. You don’t want to be one of those students pulling an all night session for several days in a row the week it is due. This is going to reflect in your final outcome and your grade won’t be what you had hoped for.

Communicate with your Roommate
Your living quarters are your place to relax and unwind when you aren’t in class. However, there can be stress and tension in those living areas if you aren’t careful. Make sure you communicate with your roommate from the start. Have some rules in place you all agree to. The more people living in one area, the more important those rules are.
Don’t let small things like someone leaving a dirty towel on the floor cause problems. When you are college students, little things add up. Make an effort to pick up after yourself. Respect privacy and don’t use their stuff without permission. If you can avoid ongoing stress with your roommate you will have a much better time at college. Should you have an issue that can’t be worked out with a roommate, you may need to look for different living options. If you are in the college dorms, let your RA know. They often have procedures in place that can be initiated to resolve the problem.

Introduce Yourself
College can be stressful because you don’t have all of your friends around. You may have been very comfortable with your group of friends. Having your family around you was also a way to relax and feel supported. Don’t wait around for others to meet you at college, take the time to introduce yourself. Smile when you walk by people and hold the door for them. Start up a conversation with people you see in the library or you share classes with. Group projects can be a wonderful way to get to know people. You have the class in common so there is plenty to converse about and not feel strange. Join various groups on campus too so you can share time with people that have similar interests.

Get to Know your Instructors
College isn’t all about fun and meeting friends though. It is about the learning environment and the learning structure. Take the time to get to know your instructors by coming to class a few minutes early. You can also go to their office during the posted hours and talk about your plans and about your enjoyment of the class. At many colleges, your instructors also play a role in determining who will get various scholarships the following year. The students that take on leadership and have a sincere desire to learn will stick out in their minds. This can help to reduce stress for you when it comes to paying for college in the following year.

Ask for Help
Stress can built when you feel overwhelmed. Don’t hesitate to ask for help before it gets to that point. Ask your family or your friends to listen if you need help. Ask for advice from other students or go to the campus counselor. You can even talk to your instructors. If you have a hard time in a class, they can help you to get a better grip on it. They can arrange to help you one on one or they can help you to get connected with a qualified instructor on the topic.

Stay in Touch with Family and Friends
Just because you are far from home for college doesn’t mean you forget about your family and your friends. Stress may feel like it comes from an unknown source but it could be due to missing what you left behind. Try to text or email every few days. You should pick up the phone and call from time to time too. Hearing the voice of someone you care about on the other end of the line can cause your stress to melt away. Try to talk to people that are positive and encouraging. They can help you get over those humps!

Bring Items from Home
Homesickness is real, and it can cause stress. Try to bring some items from home that will help you to relax. This can be a favorite blanket or even a stuffed animal. Try to eat foods that offer you comfort such as those you had at home. The smell of home can be enough to boost your mood and melt stress too. Try to find candles that offer a scent that remind you of home. If candles aren’t allowed at your housing facility, try to find air fresheners or other items you can use.

Be Aware of your Surroundings
Always pay close attention to who is around you and where you are. This applies to much more than just college. Trust your instincts and avoid getting into situations where you are alone with people you don’t really know. College campus security can always be reached if you have any concerns. They can walk you to your car after a class or to your dorm after a session in the library. You shouldn’t feel uneasy where you go or what you experience in college.

Budget
A lack of money at college can be stressful, so you need a good budget. Don’t waste your money on items you don’t really need. If you do, then you won’t have enough for what you really do need to pay for. Plan ahead and keep track of where your money is going.

Eat Foods that are Good for you
Your mind and body need fuel and nutrition for you to do well in college. Eating foods that are good for you is important. It will help you to be more alert and it will help you to stay focused. It will also help you to have energy so you aren’t fatigued all the time. Not eating right can increase stress because you may feel sluggish. It can also cause you to feel very irritable. Food that are full of antioxidants can also help to flush toxins from the body so you are less likely to get sick. Suffering from the common cold or the flu can be very stressful when you are at college.

Daily Exercise
No matter how busy your schedule gets, you need to make time for daily exercise. 30 minutes per day is a small amount of time to invest in your well-being. You can go walking, running, ride a bike, go swimming, etc. The idea is to find forms of exercise that you enjoy. They will do more than keep your body physically feeling well. Daily exercise releases feel good chemicals in the brain. As a result, you will feel your mood improve and your stress melting away.

Get Plenty of Sleep
Everyone needs different amounts of sleep, so pay attention to what your body says. Get plenty of rest on a daily basis so you can wake up refreshed. Don’t try to burn both ends of the candle. Limit your activities during the week so you can go to class, study, and get enough sleep.