College can be stressful. Many college students find themselves overwhelmed by all the new responsibilities they face and the expectations placed upon them.
This stress can cause disorganization, burnout, and even physical and mental illness. To combat this newfound stress, college students must learn to find balance in their new life.
Here are seven tips for using balance as the solution:
1. Remember Your Why
Those attending college usually have a motivating factor.
What is yours?
Perhaps you want to provide a better life for yourself and your family. Maybe you want to get a career that allows you to travel the world. Perhaps you are trying to find your passion.
Whatever your main goal was when you applied for college, keep that goal in mind.
This helps you stay focused and limits energy drains that don’t help you reach that goal.
If you went to college because that’s what you thought everyone else wanted from you, you need to find your own reason for being there.
Take a look at this goal-setting worksheet to help you discover what motivates you.
2. Take Care of Body and Mind
To stay performing at peak levels and keep a positive attitude, you must take care of your body and mind. There are several different ways to do this.
First, make sure you eat right.
Many first-year college students gain what is commonly referred to as the “Freshman 15.” In other words, many first-year students gain about fifteen pounds.
You can avoid this by eating healthy food that keeps you full of energy, and that won’t make you gain weight.
Another point to keep in mind is not to overdo it on the caffeine intake and sit down to enjoy your meals.
Second, take time to exercise and get fresh air. Don’t stay cooped up in the dorm all day. Get out and move.
Exercise can be a great stress outlet. Many students claim they don’t have time to work out, but you don’t need to take up a lot of time with your workouts. Even fifteen-minute workouts can make a big difference.
Third, prioritize sleep. You need rest to stay at your best.
And lastly, develop a self-care routine that is personal and works for you. Be aware of your stress levels and take a break when needed.
3. Master Time Management
The biggest issue many college students face is time management. With a new schedule and more on their to-do list, students can begin to feel overwhelmed.
If you find yourself in this situation, don’t procrastinate. Procrastination is a result of and proponent of stress. No matter how much of a temptation this is, resist the urge to give in to procrastination.
To help you prevent this from happening, learn good study habits. This will ensure that you don’t have to cram for tests.
Here is an excellent article for learning effective study habits.
Another thing to be cautious of is trying to fit too much into one day.
What can you realistically get done in 24 hours?
If you expect too much from yourself and constantly fail at getting them all done, this can be very discouraging.
4. Learn to Say “No”
Although this can be hard sometimes, especially for friends and family, you must learn to say no. Saying “yes” to everything can be exhausting and unfair (to you).
Learning to say “no” will help you set healthy boundaries and experience more fulfilling relationships. Even if people are initially disappointed in hearing a “no,” they’ll respect you for being authentic.
Stay true to yourself. Don’t allow others to pressure you into things that clutter up your schedule and take energy away from your responsibilities.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Help
Don’t ever feel ashamed of reaching out to family and friends when things get hectic. Everyone needs help at some point.
When you have a school-related issue, ask your counselor or advisor how to deal with this challenging situation.
If you feel like you can’t keep up, get a second opinion. Sometimes all you need is an unbiased view of your schedule to help you set realistic goals.
Many colleges offer free therapy services as part of a student’s tuition. You should absolutely take advantage of this!
6. Be Willing to Make a Change
If you have assessed your current situation and you truly can’t keep up with your current responsibilities, be willing to let something go.
You need to be honest with yourself.
Are you spending too much time socializing?
Buckle down and set better priorities.
Are you trying to participate in too much?
Drop the least productive activity on your list.
Are you expecting too much out of yourself?
Be kind to yourself and patient with your progress.
7. Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
College is a big responsibility, but it is also a time for young adults to explore who they are and want to become.
Don’t allow your responsibilities to crowd out time for relaxation and reflection.
There is so much to enjoy in college. Make sure you don’t miss it all.
If you need ideas, check out this list of 33 things to try while in college.
Like any other part of life, college requires that you approach it with a balanced view. This ensures that you get what you need out of it and absorb all the good you possibly can.
Make sure you are using these seven tips throughout your school years to keep yourself healthy and happy.
Susie is our General Manager and has been with Copper Beech at Auburn for ten years! Susie is a huge asset to our team. In Susie’s spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, her three boys, and her dog Gunner.