Nine hundred and ninety-nine days out of a thousand, you’ll have an awesome time at college. It might even be more than that. But everyone, every once in a while, has a rough day. You may even have a couple rough days in a row. And it’s not unheard of to have a bad week. This isn’t something that’s unique about college—it happens to everyone.
Tough times can be caused by many things. Maybe you have a bunch of tests at the end of a single week. Or you have to write a paper that you just really aren’t ready for. Or you’re having relationships issues. Or you’re homesick. It could be any number of things. Everyone has their own reasons. But that’s not what this is about. This is about what to do when you’re have trouble.
Different people have different ways of dealing with stress. Not every method of stress relief works for every person, but there are some pretty common ones that I’ll detail here.
First, a very popular method and my personal favorite, is exercise. Many, many people find that taking a walk, going out for a bike ride, playing a game of basketball, or throwing a frisbee helps them clear their head and feel better when they’re having a bad day. Even if you’re not usually big on exercise, it’s good to at least get outside for a while. Walk around campus, take a nap out on the quad, sit under a tree and enjoy the sunset—just get out and do something under the sky! It’ll help.
Some people find that instead of exercise, they need the opposite: rest. College students are notorious for not getting enough sleep for long periods of time (which you probably already know). If you haven’t been sleeping much, that can amplify any stress that you’re experiencing. And what’s the obvious solution to being overly tired? Sleep! I know that you have a lot of things to do, and that you’ll get behind if you’re not studying. But think about it this way: what’s going to make you lose more time? Your current state, or taking a two-hour nap? It’s worth it.
If exercise isn’t your thing, and you don’t feel like sleeping (which is often the case if you’re really stressed), you can also try reading. For pleasure, that is, not to study. Pick up a novel that you enjoy, or grab a magazine related to something that you’re interested in. Whatever it is, make sure that it’s fun reading. Don’t read a textbook.
I hope that these ideas help you think about what might help you relieve some stress. If you have any other good strategies, leave a comment and let us know!
As always, if you have any questions, comments or funny stories you'd like me to share about college or the blog, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org