5 Ways to Ease College Anxiety

Whether you are a freshman straight out of high school or going into your senior year, college has a way of giving everyone a little anxiety here and there. However, there are some ways to prevent that overwhelming or panicky-feeling before it strikes, as well as ways to calm nerves when it does happen. 

Photo Credit to The Grad Student

1. All colleges have some type of counseling center or services that can be really helpful if you think you might need the extra support. Typically, counseling centers not only provide one-on-one counseling services, but also hold group sessions like support-groups, meditation, breathing technique classes, and more. Don't be afraid to reach out-- it's the counselor's job to give you as many resources as possible to make your time in college stress-free. 

2. Yoga classes can be super beneficial for anyone of any skill level. Chances are, your university has free yoga classes whether it be through a student-run club, or at the recreation center/gym. It can't hurt to check it out, and you may end up finding some peace of mind as well as connect with some new people. 

Photo Credit to Yoga Journal

3. Create healthy study habits. This is a lot harder than it sounds, but it really does pay off when done correctly. For example, don't wait until the night before to start what you thought would be an "easy A" paper-- you're just going to end up panicking as the deadline approaches. A good method to get into the habit of getting schoolwork done is to not allow yourself down-time until you get X amount of homework accomplished. This could be as simple as reading three chapters of your English book, or as much as making the entire outline for your next paper. Once you accomplish something, you will feel a lot less guilty binging on five episodes of Game of Thrones. 

4. The magic of exercise is not a myth. Before you decide to give up on your math homework and lounge on the couch for an hour, consider hitting the gym or going outside for at least 45 minutes. Sweating it out at the gym can make you feel super refreshed and can even motivate you to get things done. The added benefit of going outside for your run or even a brisk walk can give you that fresh oxygen that you may have just needed to clear your head. 

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5. If you think your stress is turning into something more, ask for help. Signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety range widely, and you may not even recognize what you're experiencing as a sign. But chances are, if you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed most days or to the point where you can't sleep at night or your eating habits are changing-- it's time to get help. On-campus student health centers have trained professionals to deal with common college-aged disorders like anxiety and depression. It may be as easy as starting a low-level dose of anti-depressants or a supplement to help you fall asleep at night. As long as you are being proactive for your own health, your campus' resources are there to help you.