Rachael Rowe is a graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Wesleyan College. She is currently a free lance writer and stay at home mother of two.
Moving to a new town, meeting new people, and beginning a rigorous academic program is exciting and overwhelming for most. Dealing with these stresses isn’t impossible. First of all, get organized. Keep your class schedule and study dates on a calendar. Unlike high school, it will appear that you have tons of free time outside of class. You should take time each day to study for at least two to three hours outside of classtime. This will ensure that you aren’t panicking when it comes time for exams. Nutrition is also crucial for managing mental health. Eat a healthy breakfast including protein and some complex carbohydrates. This will fuel you throughout the day and keep your energy levels up during that boring class you have first thing in the morning. Besides scheduling time to study and eat, take time for you. Find a quiet retreat where you can collect your thoughts and unwind. This could be a park, a hidden spot in the library, or a corner in a coffee shop. Take a timeout from your hectic schedule to treat yourself to a vanilla latte and unwind. Sitting somewhere quiet isn’t the only way to manage stress, exercise is important as well. Whether it’s a spin class, yoga, dance aerobics, or just taking a long walk to class, the endorphins you receive from exercise will carry you through a tough semester without losing your mind. Most importantly, however, is to talk to someone if you are feeling unable cope. Remember that most students are college are experiencing the same deluge of papers, research, exams, and social obligations that you are. Sharing your anxieties with a friend, can often relieve the burden. If this is not enough, and you feel unable to cope, talk to a counselor on campus. They can provide further insight and strategies for managing stress.