Manage College Life Stress With These Ideas

Because I get overwhelmed with college life stress every now and then, I have learned to steal some 'me time' from my busy schedule. Having this time alone became important to my emotional, physical, and mental health as well as my academic performance because it gave me the time I needed to regain my strength. It also provided me the opportunity to get rid of unwanted thoughts that would otherwise affect my studies.

I have heard of the saying, "No man is an island." While this saying is true because humans were naturally born to connect and have relationships with other humans, having some alone time is also crucial. I have made a list of some my favorite things to do on my own to be able to manage college life stress. Here they are:

  • If you're on campus and you need a break before or after a big exam or presentation, you may find a spot in the campus library where very few students go. However, make sure that this place is still visible to other people for safety purposes. This is also a great place to take a little nap during the day since it's usually pretty quiet here.

  • If the weather is nice and there's a nice grass area in your campus, take your Ipod and bask in the sun. I remember that when I was in school, I used to feed the blue jays that approach me. I then watch them hide the food that I give them which is pretty amusing to watch.

  • If you have a nice big chunk of time available during the week, do all your homework and other school work then. This may require some planning but it will give you some free time to plan something for the weekend. Once you have this free time, you can either plan something for the outdoors such as hiking, mountain climbing etc. or indoors such as catching up on your favorite TV show.

  • If you only have a few minutes to spare, you can take your time in the shower while the radio is on full blast or forgo the music if you like silence instead. Having a nice, long, warm shower can be very relaxing and would not require a lot of time and effort to plan. Just make sure that you let your roommate(s) know that you will be using the bathroom for awhile or that you have an extra bathroom for them to use.

  • You can still find time to yourself during the busiest time of the semester which is usually during finals week. You can do this by setting the lights down low in your room and lighting incense or some other calming scent while you relax. This particularly helps when you want to take a rest during long study sessions. Just make sure that you don't completely fall asleep because this option is very tempting during this time.

  • If you share a room with other people, make some sort of agreement with them to have some time by yourself in the room. Then, use this time to steal a longer than usual nap. I found that if I put the fan on the highest setting, it blocks out most of the outside noise even though my roommates are hanging out just outside the room.

  • If your campus gym or community center offers yoga or pilates classes, take advantage of them. These classes not only give you better health when you do it regularly but it also relaxes your mind and body. If you have not been active for awhile, start going to beginner classes first so that you don't end up with an injury.

College life stress is a part of your life as a college student. It is there to stay as long as you stay in school. Finding something you enjoy doing by yourself or with others is a great way to maintaining your mental and emotional health. Be creative. The more things you know about yourself, the more relaxing ideas you can come up with.

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Anna Dornier