Summer break is a period where college students can take a step back and recharge. Though having space from the cycle of having a college routine is beneficial, it is not uncommon that stress can come back into play when a new semester begins. It is vital to find strategies that accommodate the stressors that circulate during the academic year. By setting goals, it can allow students to be prepared for stressful circumstances within and outside of the classroom.
1. Identify Stressors.
Pinpointing specific triggers is a key step when maintaining stress. By taking a step back to identify what is irritable and causes the most worry can allow your brain to settle and determine the biggest factor. In many instances for a college student there are worries of pressure and an overload of work. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming which, if not handled properly, can lead to burn out. Identifying stressors is the first step to maintaining stress, once discovered it is important to distinguish what actions need to be taken next. Due to everyone being unique and different in their own way, there is not a single recovery strategy. Dealing with stressors can be a unique process for every student.
2. Avoid Procrastination.
Procrastination is one of the most common actions that individuals do, especially college students. When there is a large build up of assignments and tasks to be completed in a short period of time it can be quite overwhelming. It causes stress to build up, decreases motivation, and lower efforts. When there are assignments that have a later deadline, try getting a head start to make it easier to complete the assignment later on. Avoid prioritizing unnecessary screen time, as well as telling yourself you will get to the assignment or task later. Another way to avoid procrastination is designating a time each day to regroup and focus on completing assignments ahead of time.
3. Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule.
Being at college creates years where socialization is high, and schedules are constantly changing. However, it does not mean that sleep should not be a priority. By giving yourself a time range for when you should be in bed and when you expect to be fully asleep is the first step to creating a regular schedule. Depending on how many hours you feel gives you the most energy and motivation, as well as a normal wake up time will help determine a proper bedtime. Sleep is a time where you can shut out the noise and chaos of life and regroup.
4. Take Time for Yourself.
Dealing with school or work every day, being around roommates or friends for most of the week, and managing other attributes that make you busy can be overwhelming at times. Creating a space or doing activities that allows you to be one with your thoughts and feelings can be beneficial. This is another instance where there is more than one way. Examples can be reading a book, taking walks or being outside, crafting, or even working out. The only way that you can take time, is if you make time. We constantly make time for others in our personal, social, and academic time. However, do you ever make specific time for yourself?
Allison Young is a junior studying communication studies and working towards a minor in advertising and public relations and a social media certificate at Ohio University. She currently serves as Scripps PRSSA’s Vice President of Member Relations. Connect with Allison on LinkedIn here and Twitter here!