How To Cope With The Stress Of A New School Year

The first few weeks of the semester are always a bit stressful and overwhelming. New information is being thrown at you constantly and continuously. The readings and assignments begin to pile up. Before you know it, you’re already prepping for your first exam of the semester. Your extracurricular activities also start up in the midst of it all. You start to wish you could go back in time to the day you were laying on the beach while sipping pina colada, or at least pretending you were. The feeling of relaxation and ease doesn’t have to end with summer! Engage in meditation, attend social events on campus, create an exercise schedule, enjoy the summer weather and use a planner to organize your responsibilities. All of which will help you cope with your stress, anxiety and the feeling of being overwhelmed.   

Related: 7 Ways to Cope with Stress

1. Meditation

According to Gaiam, there are several different techniques to yoga. However, the overall purpose of each approach is to clear and empty the mind. By meditating, students are able to clear away the stressors that are present during the first few weeks of the new school year. These can include assignments, readings, quizzes, joining new organizations, a new internship, adding/dropping classes and more. For at least an hour a day (or less depending on what your schedule allows), you can clear your mind of all these obligations to just focus on your internal state and more specifically, your mind. This will lead you to relaxation and will help you feel centered. Gaiam reports other benefits to meditation including reduced stress, decreased anxiety, increased feeling of well-being, lower heart rate and greater blood circulation. Overall, meditation will provide you with a clearer and healthier mind and body, which allows you to better tackle the obstacles of a new school year.

Via Seattle Central College

2. Attend campus events

At the beginning of each semester, different organizations host numerous on-campus events such as the GetConnected to Mason Fair, 9/11 Day of Service, One Love Cultural Festival, Greek recruiting events, etc. These events help students to get involved, meet other students and connect with the various programs that Mason has to offer. One of the greatest perks of attending these types of events is that you usually get free stuff. Who doesn’t love a free tee-shirt? You’ll be able to learn more about your campus, the students you go to school with and the many opportunities you have to get involved and stay connected throughout campus. Attend these types of events to bring some fun and excitement into your new school year and remain optimistic of all that you can accomplish given the available resources, student-run organizations and like-minded individuals that make up your student body.

Via George Mason University

3. Exercise

I’m sure you’ve heard numerous times about how beneficial exercising can be for both your physical and mental health. It’s a great stress reliever. Mayo Clinic argues that exercise can relieve stress by increasing your body’s endorphins, improve your mood and is essentially similar to meditation. However, it also keeps your body moving! Take advantage of the numerous exercise facilities you can access for FREE with your Mason ID such as the RAC, Skyline FItness, AFC and more. If you prefer group exercise like a yoga, pilates, or zumba class, check out what times they’re being offered and squeeze it into your schedule. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine will offer a temporary break from your obligations and keep you feeling motivated for the rest of the day. This will finally give you the energy you need to tackle your assignments and work.

Via Pine and Lakes

Related: Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy Yourself!

4. Continue enjoying the summer weather

Luckily for us in the DMV area, the summer weather doesn’t go away until late September or early October. We still get to live out the last few weeks of summer after returning to campus. Staying outside can give you a sense of freedom and relief compared to doing work and feeling obligated to stay indoors. Having the luxury to study outside on campus, attend on-campus events and checking out different places in the D.C. area will help with relieving the feeling of being overwhelmed by the pressures of a new school year. The transition from summer to school doesn’t have to be so cut throat, so take advantage of the lingering summer weather and use it to keep you relaxed and calm.  

Via Connecticut College

5. Organize your work

This is probably the most convenient method to alleviate your stress and overwhelming feeling at the start of the school year. As aforementioned, during this time of the year, you may feel as if all of your responsibilities are just continuously piling up. This is why organizing your work and making schedules in your planner is so important. Set aside time to complete all of your work, attend required events, complete internship hours and have some down time. Having the luxury of knowing when you’ll be able to complete everything gives you a sense of ease. You no longer have to panic over when you’ll find the time to fit everything into your life. It may also be wise to try to finish a little bit each day rather than leave lengthy assignments and projects to complete all in one sitting. Breaking up and organizing your priorities will relieve your stress and will help you take control over the upcoming school year. This is an essential and important skill to have not only during college, but especially in the professional world.

Via Meridian Student Planners

Overall, the start of the school year can be both an exciting and overwhelming time. Professors tend to have no mercy and assignments will begin to pile up. All your extracurricular activities will also start to pop up at the same time. However, your calmness and ease of mind do not have to end with the summer. Continue to stay relaxed and happy with the new school year by incorporating meditation, campus events, exercise, the warm weather and organization into your life. I promise you’ll make it through, Collegiettes!