Life and college are full of stressful situations, so it is important to learn what triggers your stress and how you can best deal with it. Following my freshman year, I reflected on the stressors that gave me trouble. I struggled a number of times to find good ways to handle stress that first year of college. So beginning my sophomore year, I have made a point to deal with my stress in order to be better equipped to focus on my classes.
For example, a couple weeks ago I had blood work done, and before getting the results I was concerned about having problems with my thyroid or potentially having mono. At the time that was all I could think about. I stressed myself out about it for several days before realizing that that all the worry was not helping me or the situation. I have a habit of focusing on the worst possible outcome of a stressful situation, which only causes me to stress about it even more. Since I have trouble not fixating on worst, I have discovered that if I develop a plan of what I would do in case the worst outcome occurs, I start to relax. So, after a couple days of stressing I made myself calm down and plan for what I would do if I ended up having mono or issues with my thyroid. Thankfully I had neither, but it was much less stressful waiting for the results when I had developed a plan of how to deal with those outcomes.
Stress is not something that is solved instantly, so using only one approach to deal with stress and stressful situations does not work well. So, in addition to the previous technique, it is also important to have a good support system and have people you can rely on and trust to calm you when dealing with stress. I am lucky to have my older brother, and multiple close friends in Manhattan that I can talk to about my stress and classes (also a stressor). It is also great to have all the wonderful ladies in Sigma Alpha, because many can share their own stresses of the week while waiting for chapter to start. Finding someone who can relate to your situation or someone who can just listen is a wonderfully helpful way to deal with stress.
Lastly, identifying and dealing with stressors is much easier for me when I am well rested, eating well, and exercising regularly. This helps create a better personal comfort level to deal with unanticipated stressor . This past semester I have been focusing on doing my best to eat healthier, get at least 8 hours of sleep every night, and work out at least 3 times a week. I do not always meet my goals but during the times that I meet all my goals consistently I find that I have an easier time dealing with the stress of college (and life in general).
These are just a few things I have learned from my personal experiences over the last year and a half. Each of us have stress and deal with stress in different ways, but by recognizing when you are stressed and identifying things that will relieve the stress, it will help make the college experience a rewarding one.