Reduce College Stress

financial stress Is college stress a main cause of stress for you?

Too much stress in college can lead to poor grades and stress-related illnesses.

As a lecturer at university I see first-hand how college student stress can affect students' lives.

Whether it is the:

  • onset of increased workload
  • changes in parental support or structure
  • need for more self-discipline
  • new-found freedom and responsibilities.

...stress in college can be caused by many factors.

Too much stress in college can lead to poorer grades, feeling overwhelmed, and experiencing depressive symptoms such as helplessness and hopelessness.

Find out what causes stress for you and take control of this stress with these student stress management techniques.

Causes of college stress

For many students, college is a new way of life that they must adapt to. Often leaving behind parental support, college students require more self-discipline to cope with college demands.

This lifestyle change often results in new demands, such as the juggling of academic life with work responsibilities.

In addition, new friends and the pressure to get a good grade can increase college students' stress.

With many competing demands on college students' time, students often feel overwhelmed with their course load.

Here I discuss some of the main causes of stress and a number of strategies that college students can put in place to reduce stress in college.

Reducing stress in college

Reducing college stress is about doing the following four things:

  1. organizing yourself and your commitments
  2. getting adequate exercise
  3. taking care of yourself
  4. maintaining adequate social support.

Below, I elaborate on each of these points to reduce college student's stress.

Getting organized

College life is often about juggling many demands at once, such as:

As a result, you may rush around ticking off the things that you have to do, but not really enjoying your time at college.

College life can feel like a long to-do list!

One way that you can get the best out of your college life and reduce college stress is to plan your work and then work your plan.

To do this, develop a semester plan and then work your plan. This is a way to get off this treadmill of putting out fires and allows you to gain more control of your time.

This time management for college students course provides a systematic approach to improving your time management.

By being organized you are able to prepare adequately for exams and assignments and reduce test taking anxiety and public speaking anxiety.

Get physically active

One of the best ways to combat stress weight gain is exercise.

It is common to put on an extra 10 pounds during college.

Does stress affect your overall health? It sure does!

Exercise is a great way to combat obesity, reduce stress, and improve overall health and well-being.

Exercise reduces stress by relaxing the muscles and using up the accumulated stress products.

Campus life offers many opportunities for you to exercise, whether it is walking between classes or taking up a gym class.

Yoga classes are offered in many college gyms.

These hatha yoga poses combined with deep breathing are a great way to reduce stress and keep in shape.

Look after yourself

It can be easy to cut lose at college.

With no parents around, food, exercise and sleep can take a backseat while you enjoy the independence of college life.

However, staying up late when you have early classes not only affects your study habits but also impacts on your health.

That is why it is really important to take care of yourself in college.

Eat well. Do you expect your car to run on empty? You can't expect to perform well if you aren't eating well.

It is easy to skip meals or to eat take-out, but these may not be the best options to improve you skills at coping with college stress.

Stress can strip your body of vitamins and nutrients that can make it more difficult to cope with stress. Eating a balanced diet ensures that you get adequate stress nutrition and the right vitamins for stress.

Get enough sleep. As a population we don't get enough sleep, and college students are also known to allow sleep to be one of their lesser commitments.

Not getting enough sleep can make you more irritable and less able to concentrate during the day - which can further increase your stress levels.

Build relaxation into your daily plan. Relaxation techniques can take from about 6 seconds to 20 minutes.

College stress can affect your enjoyment of college!

It may be the perfect time to take control of stress with relaxation strategies.

These relaxation techniques can short-circuit the stress response by activating the relaxation response.

Get adequate support

College stress can be decreased with adequate social support. Staying connected with your friends and family is important for your stress management and overall well-being.

College can be a great time to meet new friends and have new experiences...but it can also be a lonely time with hardships to face and depression to battle.

Getting involved with college social groups, community organizations or college teams is a great way to foster your emotional support at college.

If college stress is overwhelming or you are having difficulty adjusting to college life then see your student counselor or local health professional for support.

Search here for other tips for reducing college stress

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