It’s no secret that college is stressful, and finding ways to cope with the various stressors can be difficult. Many students at California State University, Monterey Bay are currently in the midst of taking midterm exams in their classes, making this time of year particularly stressful.
Luckily, stress is not something that is impossible to overcome. There are many ways to cope with stress and get everything done without becoming overwhelmed or “burned out.” Here are a few “do’s and don’ts” of coping with stress.
This one is arguably the most important in dealing with stress in college or in any other situation. Even if your work is piling up, you still need to sleep; pulling an all-nighter actually hurts your chances of doing well on an exam because your brain has not been given the opportunity to rest and retain the information it has processed. It is also very important to eat; having enough nutritious foods can keep your energy levels up and keep stress levels down.
Talk to your professors or a tutor instead of teaching yourself
If you are struggling with a complex topic, asking for help from professors or a tutor can be much more beneficial than attempting to teach yourself. Teaching yourself will likely only lead to more confusion, leading to more stress and decreased productivity.
Take breaks from studying
Forcing yourself to continue studying when becoming increasingly tired and frustrated only hinders retention of information; even taking a few minutes to walk outside and get some fresh air can help you refocus and find the motivation to continue with your work.
Although most people have heard the dangers of procrastination many times throughout their time in school, it is truly important not to wait until the last minute. Procrastination is one of the biggest contributors to stress, and doing smaller amounts of work over a longer period of time can reduce stress astronomically.
Take time for yourself
A lot of stress comes from having a lack of balance in your life; even if you have hours of work to do, it will help, rather than hurt, you to take even half an hour to have a meal with your friends, spend time with your pets, or call your family. Even a little time away from your work can help you clear your head and get work done.