Stress in college is not a foreign concept to students, especially when the semester is coming to a close. With final exams, final papers, and other end-of-semester responsibilities, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. It may feel like you have too much on your plate or are simply unable to get everything done. But that’s not the case! There are plenty of ways you can get everything done while keeping your stress at a minimum. Here are some guidelines to follow:
Do not procrastinate!
One of the worst things you can do with a large workload is save it all until the last minute. Have an exam a few weeks away? Start studying now! For example, take on a chapter a night. That way, you can allocate your time without that dreaded cramming feeling the night before. Also, once exam time does come closer, you’ll feel much more prepared as you review all the material. This goes for essays and assignments as well—do a little bit each night. You’ll be surprised with the progress you’ll make and the relief you’ll feel!
Form a study group.
Collaborating with other students can help you clarify any questions you may have about material while also giving insight into new methods of studying. Furthermore, by committing to meeting with a group, you are forced to show up, so you now have more people than just yourself relying on you. It may seem like a pain at the time but you’ll be glad you did it!
Take time for yourself.
This may seem impossible with everything you have to do but it’s important to allow yourself time to unwind. Whether it’s reading a book for pleasure before bed or allowing yourself 30 minutes of your favorite TV show, it’s crucial that you let yourself relax. Click here for some tips on relaxing.
*Warning: Avoid Netflix! As relaxing as watching your favorite series can be, it can easily steal away hours of your time, which is the last thing you need when finals are looming over you. Not to mention, wondering what happens in the next episode of “Orange is the New Black” can seriously distract you when studying. Save Netflix for winter break, where you can binge watch all the shows you want!
Take care of your body.
Eating healthy is crucial for stress management. You need fuel for your body and your brain to tackle everything you have to do. Always have a healthy snack handy, like a piece of fruit or granola bar and make sure to not skip meals! Starving and studying is not a good combination. Also, exercise! This will do wonders for your stress levels as well as help you sleep better at night. As little as 20-30 minutes of light cardio (e.g. walking) a day can benefit your mental well-being immensely. So try and make some time to head to the gym. No time for the gym? No problem. Take study breaks and do some jumping jacks or jog in place for a bit. It may seem silly but it will help clear your head and allow you to refocus and reenergize.
Use campus resources.
You’d be surprised to learn of all JCU’s campus activities that are offered. Many of these activities could serve as great stress relievers and can help take your mind off of everything you have going on. A new resource on campus dedicated solely to stress reduction is the Relaxation Room, opening December 4th, 2014. Be sure to check it out!
Remember: Not all stress is bad.
Yes, a small amount of stress does have some benefits. It’s motivating, for one, and it also provides a wonderful sense of accomplishment once it’s overcome. What’s important is that you don’t let it escalate and get the best of you. In the case that it is taking over, refer to these tips and you’ll be sure to beat it!