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Student Guide: How to Manage the Stress of College

Jul 20, 2017 | Harrison College

Student Guide: How to Manage the Stress of College

Education is an excellent way to improve yourself and your job prospects. But as any student guide will tell you, school can also be hugely stressful.

Almost 50% of first-year students report being so stressed they can't concentrate. That stress causes health problems like insomnia and high blood pressure.

It's understandable since you're not just balancing the demands of your classes. Alongside assignments and studying, you may be holding down a part-time job or caring for family members.

Don't panic. This student guide will help you manage the stress of your school work.

1. Ditch the Junk Food and Eat Well

Stress makes it easy to choose fast food, especially when deadlines are looming. But taking a break from studying to make a meal is vital to de-stress your mind.

Choosing fresh ingredients and having fruit instead of sugary snacks also boosts your immune system. That helps you manage your stress while giving you delicious treats!

If you have a partner, see if they can take over the cooking during term time.

2. Build Exercise Into Your Routine

Going for a walk or playing a sport is the last thing on your to-do list when you're already busy. 

But heading to the gym is a brilliant way to help manage stress. Raising your heart rate through exercise also helps to reverse the damage caused by stress in your brain.

Yoga can help loosen tight muscles and prepare your mind to absorb information. Or take up a sport that you can play with your children. Turn de-stressing yourself into a family activity.

3. Meditate

Meditation might make you think of people sat cross-legged on a cushion for several minutes. But even sitting for 10 minutes, thinking of nothing but your breath can lower your stress levels.

Breathing helps boost the levels of oxygen in your bloodstream. That calms you down and relaxes your body.

It's also free and you can meditate anywhere. Even on the subway!

4. Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep is the body's way of recharging and repairing itself. Don't skimp on it, even if you think you have too much to do.

Switch off devices with screens at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep. That way, the brain knows it's bedtime and will fall asleep faster.

Facebook will still be there in the morning.

5. Stop Focusing on the Fact That You're Stressed

It sounds difficult to do, but try not to worry about your stress levels. Network with other adult learners to discover how they coped with going back to school.

Don't let deadlines become a problem. Break assignments into manageable chunks and work on them well before they're due. It's easier to write 300 words at a time than 3000.

Make sure you take regular breaks from studying. Set aside time to do fun things with friends or family, or join a student organization. You'll come back to assignments with more energy.

Follow This Student Guide to Manage Stress

Following this student guide will get you started in managing your stress. Once you establish a routine, you'll find it much easier to continue with your new habits.

And always remember you can always find help. Harrison offers a range of student services to support you, including child care assistance, tutoring, help with career placements and much more. 

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