College stressors: How to keep a level head

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Printed with permission from Katy Popplewell Caption: Katy Popplewell is a graduate assistant and career adviser at the Career Development office.

Katy Popplewell is pursuing a master’s degree in Student Affairs. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication and her master’s certificate in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati. She works in the Career Development office as a graduate assistant and career adviser.

Adapting to college-life is one of the most stressful moments you go through, but it can also be one of the happiest times of your life. Juggling an 18-credit-hour course load, working a part-time job and joining organizations can be quite overwhelming. You may be thinking to yourself, “how can I stay sane with all this craziness at once?” Here are some techniques to deal with your stresses and help you maneuver your daily routine.

Use diet and exercise to your advantage

Exercise, exercise, exercise. Take up a hot yoga or pilates class. This will help keep your peace of mind and enrich your body and soul. You will feel like a million bucks after. Along with exercise, choose healthy foods that will help give you the energy necessary to perform well academically.

Confide in those close to you

Talking to friends and family about everything you are experiencing can help alleviate your stress. Just talking about it has shown to be beneficial when it comes to de-stressing. Always having someone to reach out to and knowing that your voice is being heard is what matters.

Take some time for yourself

Do something you enjoy: listen to music or watch one of your favorite movies or TV shows. You have to take a little time for yourself, as self-care is a must. When you’re feeling especially stressed, take some deep breaths. This can help reduce your heart rate when you have a lot going on at once.

Work ahead

Do a little every day, whether it’s cleaning your apartment or working on an assignment. This way you won’t feel overwhelmed or feel crammed when a due date is coming up. You can also start working on a short and long-term goal list. This way you feel more accomplished once you have completed a task. Always celebrate completing a task as this will show that you are making progress.

Get your rest

This might sound a little silly, but take a nap. Sometimes your brain needs to recharge. Be sure to get plenty of sleep. We all need to catch some z’s in order to function properly.

Think positively

Change the way you think or view different situations. Research has shown that thinking positively may improve physical well-being and produce lower feelings of depression and stress.

Prepare yourself

Make sure you are taking the necessary time to study for upcoming tests or quizzes. Studying the night before a final isn’t ideal. Also try to take advantage of campus resources, such as the Tutoring and Testing Center, if you find yourself struggling with a subject. This will make you feel a lot better and less stressed.

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