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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

College is an incredibly stressful time. It’s filled with what seems like endless amounts of assignments, tests, and papers. In addition to all the school work, most college students participate in multiple extra curricular activities like clubs or sports. On top of all of this,, college students also need a social life. With everything on student’s plates, students often feel over-stressed. While stress is a normal feeling to experience, too much stress can be harmful and can hurt a person’s physical and mental health. 

During college, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount academic and social pressure students are under. When talking to other students about how they deal with stress while in college, one CUA student explained that she often finds herself simply ignoring the schoolwork or other stressors in her life. However, she went on to say that this only causes the work to pile up and makes her even more stressed out and overwhelmed. 

It’s easy to want to ignore all the stressors in life and hope they all work themselves out; however, this often just creates more stress. There are many other ways to cope and relieve stress.

In my own experience, I have found myself feeling overwhelmed more often than I would like to admit. I have a tendency to overbook myself and stress over assignments. I also have a tendency to not know how to deal with the stress I’m feeling. Over time, I’ve worked to find various different ways to cope with my stress. 

Listed below are some of my suggestions as to how to destress while in college. 

Spend Time with Friends

Spending time with friends and the people you love can be incredibly beneficial when you’re stressed. They can offer advice or even just a listening ear. Hanging out with friends, whether staying in or going out, can help distract you from all the stress going on around you. If you’re feeling down, friendships can help to cheer you up and help solve your problems, especially if your friends are experiencing similar emotions. 

Spend Time Alone

Sometimes it’s important to spend time with people, but other times, the best thing you can do is spend time with yourself. Spending time alone can help to clear your mind and take a break from school. You can pick up a new hobby like painting or reading. Self care is incredibly important, especially while in college. It can be helpful to plan some time into your day to be alone and unwind. It can be helpful and relaxing to spend time alone by doing a facemask, or painting your nails, or even just taking a hot shower and listening to music. This time alone can refresh you and help you feel less stressed.  

Go Somewhere Off Campus

Considering most students’ stress comes from campus-involved activities, it can be helpful to leave campus and go somewhere different. Even if it’s only for a few hours, it can be incredibly relaxing to go for a walk somewhere off campus. Try finding a new park or a new place that you haven’t been before. Being away from school can help to clear your mind and help you forget about the stress of school for a little while. It can also help you remember that there are more important things out there and that your value is not tied exponentially to your schoolwork. 

Watch a Show or Movie

A great way to take a break from school is to watch a show or movie. If you’re feeling stressed, it can be helpful to curl up in your pajamas and watch your favorite rom-com. For me, I’ve found that watching trashy reality TV shows to be very therapeutic when I’m feeling stressed. I recently wrote an article explaining my favorite guilty pleasure shows, feel free to check it out if you need some suggestions.

Talk to a Professional

If you find yourself feeling stressed or anxious a majority of the time, it may be necessary to work with a professional. Most college campuses have counseling centers on them or can help direct you to a mental health professional. Please reach out to a professional if you feel that your stress or anxiety is not manageable by yourself.

How to reach the CUA counseling center:

Located in 127 O’Boyle Hall, Phone #: 202-319-5765

These are all just suggestions. Everyone finds their own unique way to distress and unwind. The important thing is to recognize the signs within yourself that you’re feeling overwhelmed and to respond to them appropriately. 

Hey! I'm a current Economics student at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.! I love Spotify playlists, hammocking, coffee, and expressing my voice through writing!
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