College is an exciting experience, but it also can be an incredibly stressful one. For millions of college students taking exams, making presentations to large lecture halls of their classmates, or even just dealing with a troublesome roommate, can be enough stress to cause a tension headache. Succeeding in college means dealing with stress effectively.
Before you can conquer your stress, you first have to identify what is causing it. Are you stressed because you are having a hard time getting your work done on time for classes? Or maybe your stress is directly related to taking exams which can determine a significant part of your semester grade. It could even be discomfort at the shared bathrooms that college dorms are known for. It can be just about any part of college classes or dorm life, or several parts.
Once you have identified why you feel stressed, you can begin to take steps toward either removing it or finding ways to mitigate the stress. Even if your stress is because of exams, you cannot eliminate them from your life. Instead it is important to manage your stress by catering to what you need to feel prepared and calm come exam time. Try getting to the exam room early so you have time to get comfortable in your seat, take out your calculator, pen, pencils, etc., before the exam starts, and take a few deep breaths.
If you are stressed during classes and exams because you feel unprepared, then it is important that you not only by ready for your courses but also feel prepared and collected. Make a checklist of your study plan for exams and check off each chapter, item, or other topic as you study it. Having visual proof that you are prepared is a quick way to reassure yourself that you will be happy and calm during the class itself.
Stress that is rooted in the social jumble that is living on campus, away from home for the first time, is also something that has to be mitigated. After all, living on campus offers a lot of great opportunities, but if you have an incompatible roommate then your stress level may be off the charts. Start by talking to your room mate, instead of playing passive aggressive games and resenting him or her. A quick conversation about whether you are willing to share the food in the fridge or your stereo can go a long way toward fixing your relationship.
If your relationship with your roommate is beyond repair, then it is time to make a move – literally. Talk to your college’s housing department about finding a new living arrangement, and remember, next year you can choose your own roommate.
Louise Baker ranks online programs for Zen College Life. She most recently wrote about getting a stenographer degree.