College life can be challenging. Juggling and trying to remain on top of your busy schedule of classes, assignments, projects, and exams have an impact on you and can weigh you down. When college begins to become overwhelming for you, these try these tips to help you cope and keep your stress at a manageable level.
1. Stop and Breathe
It may seem ridiculous, but the first thing you want to do is press the pause button. If you are feeling overwhelmed it will not help if you continue to push yourself beyond your limits. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to simply stop. Put down whatever it is you are doing and take a deep breath while stepping away from the problem.
Step away by taking a walk outside, listen to music or go to the campus store to get a nice refreshing drink. You are tense and you need to take some time for yourself in order to get back into the right frame of mind before you address any matter or issue.
2. Prioritize and Scheduling
Prioritize. You may feel like you have too many things to do at once. Getting the revisions for your essay, the upcoming digital media project, and the test in three days can sometimes make you feel as if you are drowning in work. A calendar or planner can help alleviate the anxiety of keeping it all together. Write down a list of what needs to be done, and schedule a time for them based on the order in which they are due or prioritizing the most significant of work.
The media presentation is due in two weeks, so you don’t have to start immediately, while the revision is supposed to be turned in by the end of this week so you may want to schedule time sooner than later. It looks like studying for the test is what you should be focusing on the right now. Prioritizing your tasks will help you stay organized and focused on what needs to get done.
3. Downsize Your Task
Sometimes you are not prepared or may have bitten off more than you can chew. It’s okay to scale things down a task a bit when needed. Instead of writing 1,000 words a day for that journalism project, try shooting for 500 if you do the math and make sure you meet the deadline due date. Don’t force yourself to suddenly do intensive workouts 6 days a week, work your way up to it slowly and take it at a pace you can manage. You’ll have a better chance of sustaining a regular routine this way.
While it may feel like you’re constantly running low on time, this may be because you’ve taken on more than you can manage. So, don’t be afraid to take a step back or even talk with your professor about how to make intensive projects more manageable for you.
4. Change Your Class Load
Take a moment and think about what exactly is causing all the stress. Is it your living conditions? A personal issue? Or maybe even your workload? It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by a class, and sometimes the best thing you can do is transfer out of it if you have the option.
It is best to discuss with your academic counselor to see what can be done. There is usually an opportunity to drop a class within the first couple weeks of the semester without any repercussions. If you are beyond the add/drop window, there may be other options that your academic counselor can recommend.
5. Talk to People
Don’t keep it all in. Even though it feels like it, you are not alone. There are plenty of other college students who are probably just as overwhelmed and struggling as you are. One of the best things you can do is talk about it. Whether it’s with a trusted friend, your roommate, parents, or even a college counselor, don’t be afraid to open-up and ask for help.
Most colleges have counseling centers and will offer free or emergency sessions. Don’t be embarrassed to schedule an appointment. There is nothing wrong with needing to talk to someone about your feelings, and your conversations will remain completely confidential unless you state otherwise. Counselors can offer you guidance on dealing and managing stress. Reach out and ask for help, you’ll feel better that you did.