I am a college student. I also work two jobs. And I already have one college degree, so you could call me a seasoned professional at this thing. I am seeing so many students struggling though, and it’s only been a month into the semester, so I jot down a few key things to help everyone out with handling stress as a college student (most of these can be used for life in general, really).
College can be pretty overwhelming. Especially for freshmen coming in.
1.) Being away from home. College usually means students are just now getting out of the house where their parents handled the bills and took everything, so this is the first time they have to become an adult and figure out surviving on their own. This can be intimidating at first.
2.) Also, college kids are having to learn time management as most of us have to work as well as go to school to be able to pay for living and some school fees. Having to balance a job (or two) as well as schoolwork can be hard at first.
3.) Financial stresses are big problem when it comes to college kids. A lot of us can’t have a full time or decent job due to or schedules, so retail, food, and small jobs is where we have to be stuck at, and it’s not a lot of money. You have to stretch a dollar to go far.
4.) Many classes with lots of homework/projects/tests. Until you can figure out what type of classes and how many difficult classes you can handle on your plate in one semester, you can sometimes overload yourself when choosing your schedule until you figure it out. If you choose to have Chemistry, Econ, Trig, Anatomy, and Biology in one semester, you’re going to have a hard time.
5.) Time management (or lack thereof). When you go to college, you’ll need to work, stay on top of schoolwork, but you also want to be social. This is where you make the best friends of your life they say, but how can you pencil any social time in when you are overloaded on all of the other things? You have to manage your time and realize what is needed to be done and when you can have fun. A lot of college students will have fun and forget the assignments until last minute and then mess up and their grades reflect, causing more stress.
How To Balance it:
Invest in a planner, or a calendar. You can even get a calendar that can be wiped off weekly/monthly to keep up with things. Due dates and test dates can creep up on you and if you are not aware of them and can see them often, you may lose track and then be lost when they actually come to be. I always try to grab schedules and the syllabus for each class on day one and mark when things are due for the semester that first week so I know what is going on for each and every class and when. You have to be prepared to succeed in college. This also gives you some more room to breathe.
It’s great to have fun, but get your tasks done FIRST. You can go out and get a drink with buddies one night a week, sure. But only after you have done your homework and studied already. Do not go out every night (I know it sounds appealing) but you need rest and you should actually be studying and reading for your more difficult classes DAILY. The more you review things, the more you will remember and it will make more sense to you. Do not spend thousands of dollars to come to college to party and waste your time being a social butterfly. Figure out what your real priorities are NOW, don’t wait until it’s too late and you flunk all your classes.
Use the resources your school offers. Did you know part of your tuition fees you get access to counselors, tutors, library study groups and so much more? Yes. This is true. You can get tutoring, counseling for handling stress, even visit the dietitian to help with eating right for FREE. Why not use these resources? You can be a very balanced and happy student just by using the school’s awesome resources.
Always remember your health. Many of us sit at a desk for hours on end doing schoolwork and studying, and then we feel sluggish, tired, and achy. Stretch some, go for a walk in the sunshine. Tell yourself that for every hour you spend in the library, you will get up and walk somewhere for 10 minutes and then come back. You will feel refreshed and not as frazzled. Also, be sure you aren’t getting all your food from the golden arches, a dollar menu, or being passed to you in your car through a window. You need energy to handle college properly, and this is a big key to staying energized and focused. Also be sure you get 7 or more hours of sleep. 7-9 is the best range I have found for me to keep my brain power fueling. Drink all the caffeine you want, but it doesn’t compare to actual sleep.
Take ME time. Being around roommates, friends, fellow students constantly can be draining in it’s own way. Find a past time or hobby that is just for you and something you enjoy. It could be rock climbing, reading, going to the gym, doing puzzles, playing a video game, going to Pet Land and petting each and every puppy in the store, or just waking up to watch the sunrise alone with a cup of joe. You have to find balance in life. Life is short, and you should want to spend it being successful and working hard, yes, but you also need to slow down once in a while and ENJOY yourself. Balance is key.
BTW I have my eBook pretty much ready….Except it’s on my laptop…which is not turning on and at the ‘doctor’ right now. So bear with me guys 😀