College students have it rough. Not only are they going through a phase of their lives where things seem to be happening at a million miles an hour, but they also have to deal with the stress of deadlines. This is a time in their lives when they are trying to sort their future out and figure out the best solution to their situation.
College students have some of the highest levels of generalized anxiety and clinical depression. Most students suffer in silence, assuming these are natural parts of college life, but they aren’t.
College isn’t about stressing yourself out. It’s about attaining your degree and getting ready for your professional life. It acts as the perfect segway between school and work; therefore, the idea of it being stressful is counterproductive.
This article is for all students who feel unheard, stressed out, and physically drained. Read till the end of this article for a few tips to consider when traversing your way through college. Some of these may resonate with you, and some may not. Regardless, please read them and keep them at the back of your mind. You never know; these six tips might change how you address certain situations.
Reach out when you think you can’t handle it anymore
One of the most common (and dangerous) solutions stressed-out students think can help them is turning to illicit substances. The average student may turn to cannabis to release stress, but things sometimes gravitate further. If you think you are developing a dependence on your substance of choice, please reach out to someone you trust or a professional for help. You will need addiction therapy guidance before things escalate out of control.
Even if you don’t have an addiction and feel your mental health is starting to deteriorate, confide in someone and let it out. Sometimes catharsis early into the issue is one of the best ways to start recovery. Moreover, talking out loud and getting your thoughts out there is a great way to navigate the issues that are bothering you. Once you hear yourself talk, you can begin tackling your issues systematically.
You may feel it would be better to bottle it up and move on with life, but please don’t entertain the thought. The longer you hold it inside, the more damage it will do. Reach out and let people help you.
This is easier said than done, especially if you live independently. You may be tempted to simply survive classes and hectic study schedules by eating whatever you can. Please understand that this may be a temporary solution, but the results won’t be pleasant in the long run.
You will need to budget for food and buy healthier options rather than living off of cheap junk food. Fruits and vegetables aren’t going to costs you as much as meat. Therefore, invest a major chunk of your budget into these, and consider buying some proteins with the remaining amount.
It may seem like a hassle and a chore, but before you know it, you will get used to it and start reaping the benefits of a healthier diet. It only takes about a week or so to feel the changes; they may be in the form of strengthened immunity or better cognitive functioning.
This is the no-brainer option that every student should follow, but most don’t.
Don’t stop meeting with your friends, especially when you have deadlines
Rather than isolating yourself when your finals are near, re-approach how you handle these complicated times. Don’t put yourself into a box and re-emerge when finals are over; rather, study when you need to and reward yourself with social stimulation. This way, you have a goal to achieve at the end of the day and can meet up with your friends guilt-free!
Moreover, studies show that studying together in a group has benefits over studying in isolation. You stand to correct each other’s mistakes, educate one another on certain concepts and benefit from the social interaction.
Other than that, cooping yourself up for days and sometimes weeks on end just isn’t healthy. These are outdated ways of cramming an entire semester’s syllabus in a few days. Pace yourself better and use your social support when you can.
Use your phone less
We live in a time when the dependency on our mobile phones and social media is higher than ever. The average person spends several hours on social media. Objectively there may not be much wrong with that, but the content geared toward young adults can be extremely problematic and cause several mental insecurities.
Other than that, it’s simply better to live in the moment than spend your entire day buried behind a screen. There is so much you are missing, and it’s tragic that people don’t experience this. You don’t want to look back to your early twenties and remember what everyone was doing on social media.
Please learn to live in the moment. No one is asking you to block your contacts and delete your social media, rather, draw a healthy balance and don’t solely live through your phone screen.
Visit home more often
If you are studying out of state, try to head home as often as you can. Other than the fact that it is nice to see your family and friends, it’s a great way to break the monotony and get out of the same environment you are accustomed to.
If you spend months in the same surroundings, you may start getting sick of it and want change. Going home from time to time gives you that much-needed change of scenery to break the monotony. The longer you expose yourself to the same surroundings, the more likely it is that you will become depressed and that the depression will last.
Please don’t assume that your mental health issues will evaporate once you graduate. Once you begin to think negatively and mental illness becomes clinical, they will likely stay with you wherever you are. Therefore, don’t let it develop in the first place.
Prioritize and divide
Tackling your work one task at a time is how you should be addressing your work. There will be times when you have a bunch of things to handle within a week. Rather than multitasking and trying to navigate everything at once, please use the divide-and-conquer method for your work.
Deal with the ones that matter first, and slowly work your way down. Prioritizing your work and taking one task at a time is the best way to handle a large chunk of tasks that seem like a mountain.
Remember, when things seem too hard to digest, break them down into bite-sized chunks and choose the ones that matter first.
From reaching out to others for mental health-related issues to prioritizing your tasks, these are some of the best tips we could collect to help you through college and aid you through whatever troubles you may come across.
Though some of these tips may not apply to you, this article’s general theme is to prioritize your mental and physical health.
We hope that we managed to help you in some way or another. We wish you the best and a great college experience!