How to manage stress in college

Samantha Valletti is a recent graduate from Oklahoma State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications. During her undergrad, she worked as a teaching assistant and was a part of numerous on-campus clubs and volunteer organizations. She is a Phi Mu alumna and a Delta Sigma Pi alumni. In her spare time, she enjoys working out, practicing yoga and spending time with family, friends, and Maltese, Lady.

Good grades, sleep or a social life. Pick two. This couldn’t be more accurate when describing college. Freshman year is the time to not pick two, but attempt to pick all three. You will never get these four years back, and freshman year is the time to enjoy college before buckling down. Join clubs, whether that is Greek life or intramurals. This is the year where you cement those lifelong friendships that everyone talks about. Surround yourself with people who will better yourself and your college experience. By the time sophomore year rolls around, you will start to understand what I mean by pick two. Before you know it, it’s junior year. You have your basic courses out of the way, and you are finally starting to focus on your major classes. And by major classes, I mean classes that you are actually interested in. Senior year, the year you thought would never come. It’s the last lap of your college career, and you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. You can envision yourself walking across that stage with your fellow classmates and receiving that hard-earned diploma. As a recent graduate, this is my college experience in a nutshell.
Believe me when I say that you do not have to have your major figured out by the time you take your first steps on campus. It took me two different degree paths to end up in communications. I started with pre-vet, but chemistry quickly killed that dream. Then I moved on to pursue a business degree and found out accounting was more like a foreign language. With many visits to my guidance counselor, I ended up in communications, where I finally found something I enjoyed and was great at. It was in my first communications course where I made an impression on my professor and was offered a teaching assistant position for the class. Needless to say it was a rewarding experience that only strengthened my passion for communications. I was also involved in countless clubs and organizations on campus where I was able to develop myself as a leader. The summer before my last semester as an undergraduate I landed a marketing internship with a commercial real estate company where I gained valuable and professional marketing experience. During my last semester, I made sure to cherish every homework assignment, project and opportunity to study because I knew after I graduated I was done for good. That is honestly what motivated me to get the highest GPA in my college career. Graduation was liberating because all of my hard work had come to an end, and I was confident my education prepared me for the next chapter.
As a recent graduate, this is my advice: build relationships with your professors. They want to help and want to see you succeed. Asking for help becomes a heck of a lot easier and less intimidating. Build relationships with students in your major classes. Classes become more enjoyable this way. Prioritize your time between the trifecta I mentioned earlier. All three are important to having a successful college experience, but pick the two that will make sure you succeed. Finally, give yourself a break. College isn’t meant to be easy. It’s supposed to push you and prepare you into the proud alumni you will become.

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