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5 Ways I Manage Stress in College

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

During the school year, students have many reasons to stress. From cramming in all their notes to study for a huge exam to trying to balance school and work, many students can get tired. Since it is Mental Wellness Awareness Month, I wanted to share my findings on ways to relieve stress. After numerous trials and errors, I found five ways to make the load of education lighter! 

1. Have an agenda

This year I decided to get a planner to be more organized, and it did not disappoint. I can find all of my plans inside and outside the classroom in one place. Every day I am reminded of any deadlines, exams, or hang-outs I scheduled! I knew there was a great possibility of me buying a planner and throwing it to the side, so I made a plan. I started by writing down simple day-to-day tasks, then assignments, and finally my social plans. Eventually, I got the hang of it and remembering due dates became a lot less stressful!

2. Giving myself mental health days

Being in a competitive field can be rough for many people, and I’m one of them. Every so often, I give myself a mental health day to refresh my body and brain. It is important for me to have a fresh start to get ready for the days ahead. What does a mental health day look like? It’s doing something I enjoy, like drawing cute animals or giving myself a spa day. It doesn’t have to be a whole day, it could just be a couple of hours. The goal is to set aside time for my body and mind to relax and feel at peace. 

3. Giving back to myself

I know it may sound silly, but hear me out. My sister was giving me suggestions on how she manages her busy work-life balance. She creates a list of things she needs to do each day and then creates a reward for completing all her tasks. If she completes all her tasks for the week, she then creates a reward for the week, and the same goes for months and years. It feels tiring to work towards my degree when I’m not going to be able to get it until three years from now, so I now created a reward system to co-exist with my schedule. For example, my “day” reward yesterday was cheesecake from my local Sparty’s. Then my “week” reward might be going out to dinner with some friends. The rewards get bigger as you go from day, week, month, and year. Now I can focus on one day at a time to finally get the reward I worked for!

4. Working out

Working out is one of the many ways I relieve stress. I can really lift off any emotions or stress I am feeling. Whether I am doing a quick jog on the treadmill or practicing my yoga positions, I feel accomplished for being able to complete a workout. I am able to keep both my mind and body healthy and happy. 

5. Listening to music

I absolutely love listening to music. With many genres to choose from, there is always something for everybody! Sometimes when things seem the worst, I use music to calm down and take a step back. During finals last semester, I got really nervous and doubted myself before a really big exam. It was like being surrounded by a huge storm cloud. Before heading to my exam, I popped in my AirPods, and before I knew it, I was calm. The “huge storm cloud” was gone, and I was able to concentrate my focus on the next steps ahead of me!

I made a choice to not let stress take over my life this semester. I learned to control my stress and learn to breathe in order to stroll through my life. I should let myself have fun and enjoy what life has in store for me. Here’s to a bright (and less stressful) 2024!

Jayla Hall is starting up her first semester as a part of Her Campus. Hall is a freshman studying Nursing at Michigan State University. After school she plans to become a Travel Nurse in hopes of treating people around the world. In her free time Hall enjoys: writing, watching TV, playing video games, and spending time with friends and family.