College students and stress - Tips to handle stress
College students and stress
College life could be interesting and stressful at the same time. College stress could arise out of the changes that a student is expected to make in every aspect of life including student life. Some students may have to live away from the family and the city they are familiar with. This may also mean having to cope with studies along with all the other responsibilities that come with living alone. Not allowing oneself to be carried away by the freedom that you have is a responsibility in itself. For some it may also mean having to earn and support oneself while friends and romantic involvements could also be vying for attention and bring more stress into college life. Being able to handle all these with ease is what helps you to handle college stress effectively. Stress could affect your ability to function at your best potential in all spheres of life.
Tips to manage college stress
Be your own manager - Having to handle studies, a part time job, social activities, tests, assignments, sporting activities and may be a love life could mean that there is a huge stress on you and how you handle yourself. Being able to prioritise and choose what is important will help you handle college stress very well. It is not only about the ability to manage time that is being referred to here, but the need to realize that you can only handle a certain amount of responsibilities and be able to manage them well. You need to make the right decisions to be an efficient manager. This calls for a smart head upon your shoulders.
Time management - Time management is not a huge issue as long as you have your priorities right. You need to be able to allocate the right amount of time to each activity according to its level of priority. With this, you also need to make sure that you include time to relax, unwind and enjoy yourself. Stress comes from being not able to balance all areas of life rightly.
Academic stress - College stress arises from four areas of academic pressure
a) The ability to understand and cope with the pace at which learning occurs in college
b) Effective learning and the ability to apply what you learn
c) Handling test or exam anxiety
d) Being able to get your assignments in on time
A little planning could go a long way. Being prepared for the lesson that is to be taught in class the previous day increases your understanding and appreciation of what is taught. It also helps you keep pace with what is the learning process.
Effective learning could be aided by active listening, active note taking and regular revision. These practices could help you remember more than 60% of what is being taught each day. You just need to put in another 40% effort during your study routines. Learning effectively means using your study notes, text and reference material in such a way that you spend little time but assimilate much more. Effective learning is all about studying smart and studying long.
Making time everyday to revise what you have learnt and spending time researching what you need to know further helps you to become more confident. This also helps reduce your anxiety and stress level to a large extent while helping you excel.
Assignments that are well done always mean that enough effort has gone into it. Last minute assignments never produce great results. Treating assignments as challenges and opportunities to learn more could enhance the effectiveness of your learning. These techniques could effectively reduce academic stress to a large extent.
Set specific goals - Having goals that are clear and reachable directs your efforts rightly. This also ensures that your effort produces results that can be measured and evaluated as you reach different milestones.
Find friends who have similar goals - It would be difficult to manage time with friends who have different goals. If your objective is to do well academically then it is better to have like minded friends so that you can help each other to stick to your objectives. Motivating each other and helping each other could be done positively in such small groups.
Take care of yourself - It is important to eat right, sleep well and be able to manage your other activities well. Eating junk food, partying late nights, etc could have a negative impact on your performance at college. You should take enough time to rest, relax and enjoy your student life. Exercise is an important part of physical health and being actively involved in a game or a sport could help you maintain your fitness while boosting your ability to learn.
Enjoy what you do - Attitude is everything. If you approach your subjects and your classes with a negative attitude you are bound to do poorly. If you approach your learning with an open mind, and believing that you can master even the toughest of subjects, college stress just flies out of the window. Getting rid of stress completely is not our objective, a little bit of stress helps you perform well. The objective is to bring a balance into your life and allowing you to enjoy what you do. Take time to remind yourself of all the motivating factors that got you to the university in the first place. Celebrate your little successes, a small pat on your back from time to time will take you a long way.
Take help - In areas where you have skill deficits or problems with the study methods, you should not hesitate to take help. Student counsellors and instructors are always available on campus to help you. This is a free service that most colleges provide to help college students manage stress.
Be a part of an association or a club in college - It is important to belong to some social group or the other especially when you are a freshman in college. These social groups provide you with opportunities to choose the right kind of friends. They also provide you an outlet for your energies and talents and help you to remain creative in some areas.
Take help - Never worry about taking help. Whether it is asking questions in class or asking for professional help that is available on the campus. It is more important to take help when you feel stressed than to worry about what others would think of you. It is not worth carrying all your burdens yourself, especially when there is expert help available nearby.
College stress is a normal part of life, learning to manage it could make your life as a student in college stress free and enjoyable.
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