3 Ideas for Coping with College Stress

Stress is an ingredient in the bachelor’s degree recipe. The question you should be asking isn’t, “How do I get rid of stress” but “How do I deal with stress?” Here are three of my favorite tactics.


1. Turn your stress into a piece of paper: Take a piece of paper and write down the thing causing you stress. For example, if biology is giving you grief, pretend the piece of paper is biology. Then get rid of it. Crumple it up. Burn it. Throw it away. Stick it in a glass of water and put the water in the freezer then chuck the ice at the cement (or take a hammer to it). If you need more ideas on what to do to your stress, watch Yzma’s original plan for getting rid of Emperor Kuzco (the one about turning him into a flea).


2. Minimize your problems: I can almost guarantee you that no matter how bad everything is in your life, it isn’t as bad as you think. Mater on Cars was perhaps the personification of this theory (and no, I haven’t seen the second one). It’s a lot more difficult than it sounds, but you have to develop the ability to apply all of the effort into school and detach yourself from the results. If you put all of your effort into writing a 15-page argumentative paper and get a C, that can be disheartening. As cliche as it sounds, you have to give yourself an A for effort. Fretting over the C will not cause you to do better. I’m not very familiar with the man, but I doubt Dennis Rodman became a world-renowned basketball player by worrying the ball into the hoop (it was doubtless because of the hair). Detach yourself from the results and analyze them as best as you can without emotion. Take the Spock approach.


3. Distract yourself: Instead of obsessing over your classes, relationships, or finances, find a way to distract yourself. On-campus college activities offer a variety of activities that can help you to both connect with other people and learn more about your hobbies and interests. Checking out the surroundings of your college can also be helpful. Go visit the beach, a lake, the mountains, or take a tromp on a desert trail. Rent a tandem bike and take that special someone out on a trip around town. Hit up a local theater. If the Internet or movies distract you, feel free to try that. I usually try to avoid sites like Facebook and Twitter when I’m feeling down as I like to disconnect from the world of troubles. You can also pick up a good book from the library. My girlfriend loves to do service whenever she feels down due to the fact that it forces her to think about someone else. Whatever you do, do your best to live in the moment and forget about what’s bugging you.

About the Author Stephen Sharpe is a college student who has become intimately acquainted with the stresses of college life. He also works as a writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps individuals find out if online distance education will benefit them and helps them figure out which online courses and online schools will help them get the job of their dreams.

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