This is a guest post by Susan. If you’d like to guest post on this blog, click here.
The years spent in higher education are widely referred to as some of the best years of one’s life. However, the simple fact of the matter is that stress constantly rears its ugly head during the course of the college years. Of course, there will always be those who breeze through the whole process with a fly-by-night attitude, or perhaps even give up their pursuits halfway through.
But for those who actually care about grades and the future, there is truly no such thing as a stress-free student life. Although human nature would have us believe otherwise, stress can be managed. How to deal with anxiety is something a student should work at regularly and religiously. There are a few simple, though highly important tips, that any student can follow to keep anxiety at bay. By utilizing and implementing the tips laid out below, college life should end up being a much more satisfying and enjoyable experience.
Manage Diet and Exercise Regularly
Diet and exercise can play very important roles in the management of stress. Sugary foods and caffeinated drinks will lead to highs and lows, neither of which is beneficial to the studying process. Cereals, vegetables, fruits, and protein are ideal foods to supply natural energy to the body avoiding the fluctuations in energy levels. In addition to a healthy diet, a brief regular exercise routine will help reduce stress levels and improve your overall outlook on life.
Avoid Possible Catalysts
This can sometimes involve a little ruthlessness, but if a friend, regardless of how close they are, is prone to becoming enormously stressed and panicked and spends more time complaining, that should be a red flag. The only thing that can be gained by being around such a person is further doubt and worry…so stay clear of toxic friends!
The Power of No
Saying no can be a skill that takes a lifetime to master. There always seems to be a once-in-a-lifetime party or event happening that simply cannot be missed. The problem arises when a single party spills over into several days that could have been used more wisely. By no means should you become a shut-in, but you must have your priorities in order. Saying no, especially when the alternative could adversely affect your grades, is a tip that all students should take to heart.
Never Skip Breaks
Even during the high studying times right before midterms or finals, it is important to take some well-timed breaks. Even if it’s just 10 minutes per hour that you get away and rest your eyes from your notes and books, it will make a world of difference. If you are trained in meditation this would be the perfect opportunity to release some tension so that you will be refreshed for the final studying push.
Students at times can think of the worst-case scenario. What if I don’t pass this exam? What if I don’t pass this course? What if I never graduate? Visualization can be an extremely powerful practice. If you see yourself succeeding in your courses and in your student life, chances are your actions will follow these positive thoughts. Even after your student life is over, positive visualization is an excellent practice in post-graduate endeavors.
Give Credit Where Credit is Due
When approaching an exam or testing situation, should haves and could haves are entirely pointless. The study period is over and what has been learned has been learned. As such, if the study time has been used sensibly and wisely, there is nothing better than a self-administered pat on the back to boost confidence. Of course, anybody can nit-pick and say they could obviously have crammed more in by studying 24 hours a day for the past six weeks, but this really isn’t realistic by anyone’s standards. Always give maximum credit for what has been done and ignore what has not been done – as there’s nothing that can be done about it now anyway!
Hopefully these tips on how to deal with anxiety at college will help those of you who are either about to embark on this adventure or are fully entrenched in the college scene.
This article was contributed by Susan who is an amateur interior designer and freelance writer, with other interests lying in photography and dancing. When she’s not juggling her various hobbies, she enjoys kicking back with a DVD in her leather sleeper sofa.