I didn’t know what it felt like to truly feel overwhelmed when coming to college. At the beginning, you hear about the high levels of stress felt by many students and the school gives presentations about support resources, but it’s hard to know what role stress will play in your college career. I am generally a very laid-back person, and I wasn’t concerned about how to relieve stress. Having always done very well in school without spending too much time worrying about grades, I was not prepared for the how stressed out I ended up being during my start of my college career.
Now to be sure, most of my time at school I have fun and am not particularly stressed. I am very lucky to have a good group of supportive friends who help me put things in perspective. I am careful not to overthink the gravity of grades or other commitments. But as the semesters progressed and classes and extracurricular commitments piled up, I began to be constantly busy. Some nights I would try to go to sleep but felt like my mind could not slow down. This would lead to crushing headaches which would make it impossible to sleep. For the first time, I knew what it felt like to be really stressed out.
Having realized this, I became more cognizant of when I was feeling too overwhelmed and focused on regaining control of my emotions. I attended a mindfulness workshop at the beginning of school for fun, and now, I use those exercises to reduce stress. I also began listening to guided meditations to help me focus on what is important, dispelling the sense of frenzied uncertainty I sometimes feel. I also began writing more because it helps me calm down and organize my thoughts. Fortunately, my school also offers study breaks and other programs like yoga workshops and free massages during finals to help relieve stress. Sometimes I watch movies or read books to take my mind off whatever is going on in my life.
Everyone feels stress at some point in their lives, and it’s important to learn how to relieve the pressure on yourself. Learning about the resources your school offers can be really helpful, especially around finals.
Have any tips to help relieve stress or any stories you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments.
Featured image by Natalie Miller.