While college may be a fun and exciting time, it can also cause a lot of stress. Anything from juggling school work and finals to trying to fit in can build anxiety and lead to even more stressful situations. I, a very anxious person in general, have dealt with a lot of stress in college. I am currently stressing over a grade in class and what to do with two back-to-back finals. If they’re both going to be horrible, which do I study for first?! I, also a definite introvert, have stressed all year about making friends in college and how to connect with others in my sorority. Dealing with this stress has made me put a lot of things in perspective and has made me consider what strategies we can all use to manage stress.
First, do start looking at things in perspective. Some things aren’t worth stressing over. Sometimes you just have to move on. Other times? Step back from the current situation and just [insert swear word here] and then breathe. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been stuck in massive crowds and forgotten to breathe. But seriously, snap yourself out of it and consider why you’re stressing out about the situation in the first place. If you are stressing about having missed a few classes because you overslept, figure out what is needed to handle that situation, but don’t keep on stressing. It will hurt your sleep and punctuality even more in the long run.
Find friends and other ways of support—those don’t even have to be people. Go with your friends to places to have fun and take your mind off things. Find comfort in your friends and give them that same comfort when they need it themselves. I’ve lost count of how many times a friend has gotten me out of a stressful situation. I’ve literally had a friend pull me out of the middle of a crowd before, and I’ve also relied heavily on my religious center for venting any stress. As for the other ways of support, maybe take chill breaks to watch Netflix or jam out to some good music. My personal favorites: cute dog videos and any classic rock or indie Spotify playlist. On the note of other ways of support, stress balls are also extremely helpful. A lot of people don’t take them seriously, but they really do help. Think of all your stress and apply all that tension straight to the ball. Feel the pressure immediately relax? Then it’s working.
Ultimately, there aren’t a lot of things worth the stress. Take my advice (hopefully I will as well) and breathe. Find outlets for that stress. Don’t bottle it up. Don’t forget to have fun. Finally, SMILE. You got this—I believe in you.