Managing Stress and Staying Healthy: Advice For College Students
A happy and successful life in college depends on achieving balance - balance in the types of courses you take each semester, balance between academics and extracurricular activities, and, of course, balance between work and play. Managing stress, health, and your psychological and emotional well-being in college is also about finding balance.
Keeping Stress At Bay And Staying Healthy
As you no doubt learned a long time ago, having a little bit of stress in your life is a good thing. It keeps you getting up in the morning and moving forward in the direction of your goals and aspirations. Too much stress, though, can wear down your health and cripple your ability to make progress.
Keeping stress at bay in college depends on five primary factors. We discuss each of them here, in no particular order.
Get Organized and Stay Organized
Nothing will get you stressed out faster than being disorganized. Disorganization can lead to missed problem sets and other assignments, forgotten meetings, timing conflicts, and any number of other problems that will send your stress level (and perhaps your blood pressure) shooting skyward. As soon as you have decided on what courses you'll be taking, transfer the due dates for all assignments, problem sets, and papers, and the dates of all quizzes, tests, exams, midterms, and finals to a single calendar. Every organizational meeting, game, intramural event, party, date, or time you agree to meet someone to study should also immediately make it onto this calendar.
We don't care whether you keep your calendar in a PDA, on your laptop, on your cell phone, or on a good old-fashioned paper calendar. All we care about is that you pick one place to keep track of everything and that you do it religiously. Once this becomes a habit, it will be second nature to you to record any commitment that you make. But the confidence you'll have in knowing that you haven't forgotten something or somebody will help you sleep better at night and keep your stress level under control.
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