College can be one of the most stressful periods of your life. Between rigorous courses, the high cost, and the heavy expectations to do well and succeed, many students can get overwhelmed with the work required to obtain a degree. However, there are also many things you can do to prevent this stress from being a dominating constant in your life.
Buy (or make) a planner that allows you to look at both monthly and weekly schedules. You can sketch out your day-to-day activities and responsibilities and see how you’re going to fit them all into one week. This type of organization keeps you aware of what you’re doing—no more missing assignments or forgotten appointment dates! If you make sure you know exactly when your deadlines are, you’re less likely to miss them.
By using a planner that has monthly planning options, you can keep track of upcoming events and responsibilities on top of the ones that arise on a daily or weekly basis. But remember to be consistent. Your planner will only work if you do, and by keeping your planner up to date, you’ll find it easier to navigate your schedule and get everything done on time.
Related: Video: Time Management Tips
Make it fun
Planning doesn’t have to be tedious. Buy some inexpensive multi-colored pens or markers and build a system that allows you to enjoy planning out your tasks. Build a positive connection between you and your planner, because it will help you build a positive connection between you and your responsibilities. Never treat it as drudgery. If you do, that’s what it’ll become.
Bullet journals are great for this and allow you to keep up with your responsibilities and have fun doodling and creating collections. Essentially a personalized organization system, bullet journals accommodate lots of free rein, which is nice if traditional planners don’t work for you or your needs.
To help relieve stress at college, get involved with something. A sport, club, volunteer work—just try to get out of your dorm or apartment and do something that helps focus your energy. You’ll find your mind absorbed with that task rather than the source of your stress, especially if you choose to do something active. However, if your English paper is due in two hours and you still need to write a paragraph or two, it probably isn’t the best idea to go off and do something else. Only pursue other activities if you have the time to do so.
Related: 10 Ways Students Can De-stress
The best way to manage stress is to simply combat it head on. Do not allow yourself to procrastinate. Sit down, focus, and simply get it done. If you allow yourself to waste time or avoid completing tasks, you’ll end up more stressed than you were before (and have even less time too). By simply changing your mindset to reflect a more positive, action-based ideology, you’ll find your stress begin to ebb away. Just do your best and get it done.
More than just school
Remember that not all stress can be solved this easily. Some forms of stress may be the result of mental illness. If you think your stress levels stem from anxiety, depression, or another mental health disorder, seek help. If it’s an issue that isn’t school- or assignment-related—or even if it is!—don’t be afraid to seek out professional resources. The topic of mental illness can be stress inducing itself, but seeking help will only make it better.