How to destress

A recent graduate from State University of New York College at Oneonta, and a graduate student at San Diego State University in the Political Science Department. Hobbies include running, crocheting, and playing the sax or clarinet.

Heather Lewis
I remember being so excited about going to college. I was looking forward to taking more focused classes; to thinking for myself. I was still stressed about the more difficult classes and meeting new people, but overall my experience in college was great. It is stressful at times, with the deadlines and that smidge of drama with that one roommate, and the fact that your mom could be hounding you every once in a while to just come home. But in reality, you are o your own person and this is the final step in cutting the cords to home. It is scary and invigorating and wonderful.
The one thing that truly helped me throughout these years of my life was music. I play the alto and tenor saxophones, and the clarinet. I joined the jazz band, and immediately felt like playing was the release for me. When I picked up my instrument and started to jam, it felt the world was not there and I do not need to worry about anything else.
I used music to help me de-stress and unwind, and you should find the activity that helps you to de-stress. Whatever your de-stressor may be, it will keep you sane and focused throughout your college years, especially after staring at textbooks all day.
Finding that one activity to de-stress is truly essential when doing the same thing for long periods of time, or concentrating so much on school work. Going over your textbooks and writing assignments for hours and hours can drive any person crazy. Keeping a schedule or itinerary is good, but when in college, the thing to remember is to keep sane and unwind by doing something you absolutely love. For me, it was my music. For you, it could be to read, to watch a movie, play a video game, computer game, or even just to meditate. Find that thing you love to do and do it when you feel super stressed, or keep a habit of doing it every other night (after studying, of course).
This doesn’t have to be a stationary activity. Many people find that going for a run, doing yoga, Zumba, or Pilates helps to keep their minds off of school work. I remember taking Pilates classes while I was at my undergraduate university. I met some very nice people and was able to burn off calories from those Ramen noodle nights in front of my computer. Exercise can also keep you on top of regular sleep schedules and concentrating on the work at hand. For you, it may be going for a run or jog around the block, campus, or on the treadmill.
I wish there were some secret, easy remedy to make it through college without at least one all-nighter, or one bad grade, or a night some tears. Making it through all of this is part of the college experience. Do not give up. At the end, you will have a degree and that much more experience to bring to the rest of the world.

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