The Best Tips to Quell Your Back-To-School Stress

With college and university classes beginning across the country, it can be daunting for many students to get back into a regimen of school, work, sleep, and maybe even a social life. As the final sunset of summer 2017 dipped below the horizon, I knew I wasn’t alone in feeling some sort of twinge at the thought of all the upcoming adjustments about to happen to my daily routine. No matter what year of study you’re entering, the sudden change is bound to bring some stress into your life. Now that the backpacks are packed and the alarms have been set, it’s finally time to dust the cobwebs off your brain and embrace this year with open arms; but how?


Utilize a Planner

Many people find themselves vowing to stay dedicated to their planner for the first few months of the semester until a sudden nosedive into a jumbled backpack of loose leaf assignments and coffee-stained sticky notes gets the best of them. This time management method should not be forgotten about; a lack of organization can add to your stress tenfold. Maintaining one central place for all your reminders and to-do lists is crucial to keeping your anxiety at bay throughout a tough semester and crossing items off a daily list can boost your motivation to push through and finish all your tasks.


Choose Your Friends Wisely

This tip is especially important for incoming freshmen; the first few weeks of post-secondary can come with a dizzying number of new names and faces to remember, especially if you’re living in residence. To make the most of these new encounters, sitting in the front of class can help surround yourself with people who are serious about their academics and are more likely to be a positive influence in your life. During midterms, you will be much better off if you’ve befriended students that are ahead in the class rather than those who choose to go out the night before an exam and ‘just wing it’. A variety of friendly faces can surely make for a better university experience, but the people you choose to keep in your close circle can have a vast impact on your study habits and overall stress levels. Be sure to prioritize those who have your back at two in the morning before an exam rather than those that only know how to have a good time Friday night.


Get Invested in Your Studies

Chances are if you’re interested in what you’re learning, the extra readings and research assignments won’t feel like work to complete. From personal experience, there are some courses where I knew from the very first day that I would dread every minute of lecture time, and looking back my marks definitely reflected my interest levels in each given subject. During the first few weeks of the semester it becomes clear which professors peak your interest and which classes you dread attending; chances are you’re not going to put any real effort into a class where you’re heavy-eyed five minutes in, and this will lead to cramming last minute with no real knowledge gained. On the flipside of this, finding courses and subject matters that are of personal interest is a great way to keep stress levels under control. When you’re  invested in the subject matter you are no longer learning because you have to, but because you want to.


University is about independence and choices; decisions about friends, schedules, even career paths are all in your hands now and your university experience will be what you choose to make it. The numerous expectations and responsibilities can seem overwhelming to anyone (especially after summer break), so it may be helpful to utilize these tips and maintain a positive state of mind.