Counseling Services

Stress Management

College students face many challenges and new situations in life, all of which create stress. It can't be avoided, so you need to learn how to deal with it constructively. Some of the challenges include:
  • living away from home
  • meeting strangers in class and in the residence halls
  • the workload is heavier and the competition may be more difficult than when you were in high school

The following are some helpful strategies to deal with stress productively:

TIP #1
Stress from leaving home will be easier to handle if you keep in touch by calling or email regularly. Get into the activities at school and make new friends- you will be surprised at how much easier it gets once you try!

TIP #2
Managing your finances can be a hassle or a breeze depending on how wisely you spend your money. Make up a budget and stick to it for the semester. Plan ahead for special expenses like traveling home to visit, etc. Stick to the budget.

TIP #3
Roommate stress. This can be one of the biggest sources of stress for new students. Remember to respect each other's opinions, feelings, customs, and belongings. Do your share of the cleaning. Allow one another some alone time for peace and quiet. Do talk about problems as they arise instead of blowing up at your roommates. We have more advice on getting along with your roommate.

TIP #4
Handling personal problems. Calm down before discussing problems with anyone. Be direct but not hostile when resolving problems. Seek help from a friend or a counselor to get an objective opinion on the matter.

TIP #5
Making career or academic choices. Consult your academic advisor for input on course selection, majors, etc. Take into consideration your whole schedule e.g. Swop job, family duties, extracurricular responsibilities when planning your schedule. Don't get over loaded with extracurricular activities no matter how interesting or attractive they sound. Budget your time wisely.

TIP #6
How To Beat Test Anxiety. Be prepared. Find out the type of exam from the instructor and review all lecture and reading notes. Keep rereading of texts to a minimum. Recite facts aloud for greater recall. Predict and answer possible questions. Read all questions carefully and survey the test. Will certain sections count more, will certain sections take more time? Budget your time accordingly. Outline answers for essays and work on only one question at a time. Return to difficult items later and concentrate only on the test itself.

TIP #7
Some pitfalls to avoid. Use of alcohol only masks the symptoms of stress and it adds more problems such as hangovers, traffic violations, fights, and trouble with school authorities. Illegal drugs cause more stress too. They put your physical and mental health at risk, as well as leading to possible arrest and expulsion from school. Recognize situations that cause stress for you and develop effective ways to manage it. Seek help if necessary to manage your stress.

Click here for additional resources on stress management
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