11 Ways to Reduce Stress in College

ways to reduce stress in college

The transfer from high school to college is a big step. If you’re a college student, there’s a good chance you’re juggling countless things – work, classes, and other activities…no wonder you’re stressed! College stress is inevitable, though. For many young college students, they’re getting a taste of what it feels like to be on their own now. It’s a fresh new experience – but it can be a stressful one as well. Here are 11 tips for college students to reduce stress in and get things done!

11. Make Friends

If you’re a natural social butterfly, making friends isn’t a hard thing to do. And if you’re not – well, go out there and get out of your comfort zone. In fact, having friends is a great way to deal with stress. Why? Friends are a natural antidepressant. They’ll listen to you when you’re upset, stressed, or feel poorly. You can’t get through 2+ years of college alone. You’ll need friends to help steer the way or lift you up in your journey.

10. Join a Club or Community

Colleges have virtually a limitless number of clubs and organizations for students to take advantage of. It’s a great way to a) make friends or b) make connections. You never know if meeting someone from the Creative Writing Club can refer to you a publication that’s seeking a sci-fi fiction author (which you may happen to be). Joining a club or community, especially with people who share your interests and goals, can reduce stress in college and make your life a whole lot easier.

9. Hang Out…But Not TOO Much

Join a party with your friends. Going out for dinner or simply having fun is a great way to release some of the stress from your day. You need to be out of your class, your house, or wherever you spend your day working. You should aim to get out of the house at least 3 times a week. Step away from that essay, and go for lunch with your friends. You’ll see the difference of cognitive thinking.

But, don’t hang out merely whenever, especially if you’re aware that you need every hour to work on that huge project or essay. Hanging out once or twice helps reduce your stress, but hanging out TOO much pushes away your priorities. For instance, don’t just be a ‘party junkie.’ Of course, this may be considered as an unfair stereotype for young fresh college students – but there’s no doubt many delve deep into the party life. Partying may be a great way to push away the stress from work or academics, but then you become even MORE stressed when you find out how much you’ve wasted time. So, don’t do it.

8. Avoid the Hangovers

Again, no stereotypes for the average college student. Not everyone will find themselves wasted the next morning. But, many do actually. Try not to be one of them. Whether you’re 21 or 41 – a hangover can lead to serious consequences. You’ll have to understand that hangovers aren’t just painful headaches – they’ll cause a lot more stress than you initially started out with. For one thing, alcohol is a DEPRESSANT.

In fact, a survey done by NCBI revealed a strong association between the quantity of alcohol consumed and the level of depression. Participants ranged from 18 to 76 years old, and the evidence showed that heavy drinking leads to a higher risk of depression. Not only will you probably be depressed – you’re putting your own health at risk. Getting hangovers, especially after you’ve made it a habit, can lead to cirrhosis, heart diseases, and other conditions. Maybe not now…but later.

7. Prioritize

According to a survey, the number one cause of stress in college was overwhelmingly voted as academics. It’s not because the students can’t get the work done – it’s because they wait until the last minute to do it.

The reasons?
A. “I forgot about the deadline.”
B. “I work well under pressure; at the last minute.”
C. “I have a lot on my plate.”

Regardless of the excuse or legitimate reason, procrastinating will definitely lead to severe consequences. It’ll give you a lot more stress – and if you’re stressed out, there’s a good chance you aren’t putting your best quality work out there. So, if you have an assignment due in two weeks – do a little everyday. That way – you won’t be cramming everything for the last minute. And plus – you’ll reduce stress in college.

6. Choose Classes Wisely

If you know you won’t be able to handle Literature 201, Calculus, and Human Anatomy in the same semester – don’t sign up for them. Picking the right number of classes, as well as the class itself, is an important factor in determining how stressed you’ll be. Choose wisely. Get reviews and recommendations from your peers to be well informed.

Find out how your calculus professor teaches – would you be better off taking the class online? Talk to your professors before you sign up. Get to know their personality and teaching style. Remember – you want to do everything in your power to reduce stress in college.

5. Get Enough Sleep

We all know how that feels. A 4-hour cycle of sleep and then waking up to our blaring alarm. It’s not a good feeling – and neither is a short cycle of sleep helping your health either. If you get so little sleep but you expect yourself to function just the same the next day – you’ll be drowsy and definitely stressed out.

There’s no ‘making up for sleep’ by sleeping during the day or getting extra hours. Our bodies respond to habits – we’re habitual creatures. So, a regular 7 hours of sleep interrupted by 4 hours the next day will throw you off. If you’re getting a lack of sleep on a daily basis – it’s hard to reduce stress.

4. Check your Work Hours

Are your work hours causing you stress? Are you simply going back and forth too much between school and work? Battling hours of academics and work simultaneously will leave you stressed and burned out…everyday. Make sure you’re not constantly juggling with the two – you need to have time to yourself.

You need personal time. If you’re constantly working or even consider yourself a workaholic, you’re burning yourself out. You can’t work effectively like that – not in school nor in the workplace. Compromise with your boss – tell him you need to take some shifts off during the week, but you’ll be able to work more on the weekend. It’s better than a weekly disaster.

3. Exercise

Find time to exercise, whether it’s swimming. jogging or shooting hoops. Exercising will definitely reduce your stress – and it’s already been proven. Performing a moderate activity will release endorphins and serotonin – which also reduces depression. You should aim to exercise at least 5 times a week, 30 minutes per day. Just adjusting your schedule to have time to exercise will leave you with results in no time. It will allow you to attain a healthy lifestyle – both physically, mentally and emotionally. That’s the beauty of exercise.

2. Eat Healthy

Eating junk food, believe or not, has a strong association with depression. Studies have proven there’s a strong correlation between a considerable amount of junk food and high levels of depression. If you’ve found yourself stuffing yourself with sugar and fast food after a long stressful day – you’re actually making your stress worse.

Eating junk constantly, whenever you get stressed, will lead to health issues and furthermore stress. As you go down the line, you’ll be disgusted with yourself – and this can lead to depression. However, the depression association with eating junk food happens more with women than it does men. Nevertheless, it’s important to eat healthy daily – and it will reduce your stress in college and wherever.

1. Connect with Family

Connecting with your family, whether they’re a mile away or out of state, is quite important for managing your stress and mental health. Whenever you need advice or someone to help you through your journey, reach out to your parents. If they’ve been to college before – great! They can offer you advice and tips. Make sure you’re getting together with your family on the holidays. Connecting with your parents and family will reduce your stress because you’ll realize you’re not alone.

There are many more tips to help you reduce stress in college – as well as prepare you. But, here we provided you with 11 great and proven ways. Use them wisely.