Stress can take many forms. Learning to recognize it and develop coping measures will not only benefit you in college, but throughout your career as well.
For some, freshman year can be filled with emotional ups and downs. Maybe you feel like there’s so much going on you can’t sit still. Maybe you’re being pulled in a thousand different directions. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to try different things and experience all that life offers, but you’ve also got to find a way to slow down and listen in class. You’ve got to develop some patience. Find a way to center yourself and to focus on the work at hand or the project that requires attention. When you are studying, take mini breaks. Get up and walk around the room or walk around the parking lot. While you’re moving, refocus your energy on getting the assignment done. Then after about 15 minutes, sit back down and get back to work.
For others, they feel immense pressure. A lot of incoming students feel pressure from their parents, teachers, coaches, and friends. While there are times this pressure comes from an actual person, a lot of times students believe it’s there when that’s not what is intended. It comes from within. You have high expectations for yourself. You are used to succeeding. When you feel the seeds of doubt creep in, you need to address it head on. Look right in the mirror and tell yourself you know the test is around the corner or that it’s a huge project. Remind yourself that you’ve handled this kind of situation before. Then tell yourself you can do it again. You’ve got all the tools necessary. Your worth as a person isn’t defined by one test score or grade. You are so much more.
You can add stress to a situation due to your attitude. Maybe you feel like an advisor or parent pushed a certain class on you. Maybe you think a teacher “hates” you so they partnered you with the most obnoxious person in class. Get over yourself. It’s your bad attitude that is creating the internal stress. Think of it as one obstacle. Get through it. Move on. The world isn’t against you.
For some being a social magnet is adding unneeded stress to their first years in college. The phone chimes again and again. Whether is the latest “snap” or a GroupMe or a text, I know, it’s hard to not stop what you are working on and pick up the phone to check the latest updates. You can’t focus on getting your paper written because you’re too busy responding to you many followers. The simplest piece of advice is the best one for this self-induced stressed – put your phone in airplane mode or turn it on do not disturb. I know the fear that you are missing out on something is real – but that F you receive for not finishing your paper will have a lasting effect. There’s always another party.
By making a plan now, you can deal with stressors before they cause lasting effects to your college years.