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Breathe in, Breathe out

Coping methods can help with handling stressors in college. PHOTO/ Flickr Creative Commons

By Shauna Carlos

Published: April 10th, 2019

Describing college as stressful would be the understatement of the year. We all know that exams, homework assignments, and pressing deadlines were what we signed up for, but this can’t be it! Personally, I find myself feeling burnt out with the piles of work that never seems to have an end date and leads to a negative attitude and lack of energy. With this realization, I spent some time trying to find different coping methods that could help me progress through the semester without the mental and emotional strain.

Prioritizing the tasks in your life effectively can be life changing. How many clubs/organizations are you apart of? How many classes are you taking? What occupies your time? Write your answers out on a piece a paper, then list each activity based on importance. Once you figure that all out, adjust your lifestyle accordingly. If you’re a part of club that you listed as least important, leave the club! Don’t allow yourself to devote time to things that aren’t adding to you. What classes are you struggling in? Send your professor an email explaining any difficulties you may be having in his/her course. You’ll be surprised by how many professors are eager to help their students. This brings me to my next point: stop allowing your classes to stress you!

As students, we are in complete control of our academic success and in order to truly recognize that, we have to be aware of the tools accessible to us. I remember working (more like struggling) to write an essay for one of my English classes. A couple of days before the deadline approached, my professor sent out a reminder email to hand in the paper at the beginning of class except for those who spoke to him about an extension. When I read that part of the email, I immediately thought “extension?” why didn’t I think of that instead of spending the night frustrated and overwhelmed. Another thing I would suggest is being honest with yourself. You know who you are as a student and the first couple of days of the semester usually gives us a good sense of what the rest of the term will look like. If you don’t like the grading rubric or style of the professor, check to see if there is another class available. If you know you’re not a morning person and each semester you’ve tried to see if you could do better and it didn’t work out, take afternoon or night classes. Especially if the professor is critical when it comes to attendance. See if your class is an available option for Pass/Fail, that way you can still get the credit without your GPA taking a hit. Work smarter, not harder!

As a writer, I personally enjoy putting pen to paper, but journaling can be therapeutic to anyone. Dedicate some time throughout your week to vent about what’s going on in your life. Write down all the good things and accomplishments, so when you’re having a bad day you can look back at it. Write out your goals so you can have a constant visual of what you’re working towards. Make “you” a priority! Find an activity you enjoy. A physical one would be great because you’re having fun while staying active! Allow that to be your stress reliever.

College is difficult but it should also be fun! It’s the perfect place to network with people with similar passions, build lifelong relationships, and develop yourself as a person. Don’t let these years pass you by because before you know it, you’ll be walking across a stage in your cap and gown!

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