Top tips to deal with academic stress (because, midterms)
July 17, 2018
Being completely stress free would be a dream come true. But let’s face it, everyday we face all kinds of stress in our lives, whether that is from school, work, family or friends.
Leaving your home that was familiar to you for most likely the majority of your life and coming to college is definitely stressful. As a freshman, you have to learn how to juggle so many different things at once. Not only do you have to deal with a completely new environment, but you deal with a new set of classes that are going to be completely different from that in high school.
I learned a lot my freshman year, especially some ways that could help relieve some of those first year academic stressors you might face.
There are little things you can do to lessen this stress:
Buy a planner and use it
I bought a planner to use for school, just because I felt like this is something I should probably do. However, I found when I would use it, my assignments would get done on time and there would be no surprise assignments I actually just forgot about because I didn’t write them down.
It took me until second semester to finally find a good way to use my planner. I color coded all my classes, filled in all big assignments and test dates when I got my syllabi at the beginning of the semester and I filled it out for the week (every Sunday). I know that sounds a little over the top, but honestly, filling out my planner is a stress reliever in itself.
My planner has seriously changed my life.
Simply just jotting down assignments you need to get done in a notebook will start to help you stay on top of your academics.
Don’t skip class, you won’t stop
Attendance may not count in some of your classes. This is dangerous.
The first lecture I skipped, I was very hesitant about, I did not want to miss anything because it could be on the final or an exam. This is good. Keep that hesitation if you have it.
I finally convinced myself to skip one of these lectures because “I deserved it.” After that, skipping lecture became almost addicting, and I missed quite a bit of content. This is not good.
Keep yourself from skipping class as much as possible, because if you miss something important, it could stress you more when it comes time for the exam or the final.
Think about how much money you are putting into your education. You, your parents, your scholarship sponsors are not paying you to go to college just to skip classes and do what instead? Study? No, let’s face it, if you’re skipping class it’s because you want to nap. Or at least for me that’s what it was.
Never get to the point where people are surprised to see you in class.
Don’t overdo it
There are enough anxieties about being in a new environment, that it is okay to take a small course load your first semester of freshman year. Your first semester of college should be one of the easiest schedules throughout your college life.
I took 14 hours of classes my first semester and it was the perfect amount because I was able to figure out how to balance my new life. It truly is not worth it to overdo it your first semester.
A 12-14 hour course load gives you time to still navigate campus, make friends, join Greek life or other Registered Student Organizations.
After that, you would be totally ready to kick it up a notch second semester.
I am definitely no stranger to stress and still have a lot to learn. Stress is always going to be present on a college campus, but it is up to you to decide if you are going to let it take over your life.
Samantha is a sophomore in Media.