By Ryan Sutherland
Coping with college life is a learning experience within itself. There are many ways to adjust to this life whether you are a transfer student or a student fresh out of high school and perhaps living on your own for the first time. There are a lot of unhealthy coping skills that are a good idea to steer clear of but there are also a lot of healthy coping skills that are fun and will keep you on the path for success and graduation. The basis of these skills are focusing on time management. Simply, the day can be broken into three, eight hour segments. A good night sleep is 8 hours, which is the first segment. Second, is work and/or in this case school is your work. The third eight hours is YOU time. It’s the time where you exercise, eat, do homework, hang out with friends or just time to relax. This third segment can make or break you.
I have already mentioned a couple good coping activities to help relieve the stress of homework, exams, relationship troubles or anything that might be giving you negative thoughts. I mentioned exercise and hanging out with friends. It’s good to stay busy on your free time. Find a sport of hobby that interests you. You should never be “bored,” the word I hear so many times. There is art, writing, riding a bike, sports, clubs, games, and hiking, just to name a few. Some of these activities get your brain’s endorphins working and helps you feel confident and positive. The bad coping activities include drinking and smoking and drug use. They are bad because they can be addictive which means you need them all day every day and they are all you think about. They are bad because they can also make you not care about the things you truly love in life and they will take that and positive and successful path to graduation and it will make it a dead end. Drugs and alcohol can single handedly ruin your college experience and take away all the positivity you had when you first started your journey.
Having a good support group, or people that help you feel good about yourself is crucial to help cope with college life. These are the people who can build you back up when you have just had a really bad day and nothing seems to be going right. This person can be a family member or a teacher or someone you look up to. This person can also just be a friend, someone you know and can trust with your thoughts and feelings. Someone to talk to at the end of a rough day always helps put things into perspective.
Coping and adjusting to college life can be hard but it is definitely attainable. There are millions of people in the US and even the world who have sat in the same seat as you are sitting in today and they have graduated and gone on to live happy and successful lives. You have what it takes to make a positive difference in this world.