Whether you are a first year Mustang or a senior, you have had some intense moments of doubt in your ability to make friends, stay in shape, pass a class, or even remain in school. This feeling of being overwhelmed is called, “College Stress.” Being a straight A student is no longer enough, we carry many more expectations.
Our top concerns as college students include:
- getting good grades in classes
- working part time to lessen your student loan burden
- finding summer internships
- taking leadership roles in school activities
- maintaining a social life and networking
- exercising and finding time for self-care
- maintaining healthy sleeping and eating habits
- having fun!
However, any human being trying to do all of them at the same time will fail. Simply, because it is impossible. Our craving for perfection sometimes does more harm than good. We have limited hours per day and limited energy to burn on daily activities. The pressure from trying to maintain a healthy “work-life balance” creates tons of unnecessarily stress. Awareness of our limitations only contributes to unbearable stress levels. Yet, why do I bring it up? Only after we acknowledge a problem, can we make changes and do better.
Here are some ideas on how to deal with those stress:
ADMIT IT: THE STRESS IS REAL
We can’t avoid down moments! There will be a ton of time things go wrong, and you will have to face it sooner or later. If you have a homework due tonight and you won’t be able to finish it, be honest and tell yourself: I am not able to meet my expectation for now.
PANIC, SADNESS, AND BEING EMOTIONAL
It is important for you to express your negative energy because you need to “let it go” to feel better. You won’t be able to make the situation better if you cannot address your underlying stressors. You can cry, feel sad, curse this entire unfair world, etc. All human being have emotion and has the right to express it. Being emotional is not shameful but a strength, because you can admit that you are not perfect. Not many people can do it!
MAKE YOURSELF FEEL BETTER
- Call/talk to people with whom you feel comfortable. Let them know you are stressed and in need of somebody to listen.
- Do relaxing activities: play music, eat comfort food, play sport, coloring, do crafting, origami, cooking, etc.
- Do household chores like redecorating your room
[ my slogan is: Make the most out of everything, even procrastinating!]
- Beat somebody up physically and mentally [especially yourself]
- Abuse drugs and alcohol. They are temporary support and may bring further trouble later. You already have enough to deal with.
TAKE A STEP BACK AND RELAX
You must comfort yourself and make yourself believe that this is not the end of the world. Yes, you feel bad because you didn’t handle things well enough. However, there are always ways to fix it, and you can do it. The solutions might be rough and not perfect, but it is going to be over after you get it done.
If you still feel horrible, remind yourself – things can get worse if you take no action NOW.
CHOOSE THE BEST AVAILABLE OPTION
This is the action part and the most important one. Firstly, plan out what need to be done. Ask yourself the question, “What are my options? How do I move forward?” Keep in mind, right now your goal is to get the work done! I usually try to eliminate all the tough and convince myself that I have to work first and think later so my emotion will not break me and I will get thing done.
I really hope this is helpful for you! Enjoy your college life and make the most out of it.