Managing Stress as a College Student

by Grace Hines
Grace Hines is a student at Sarah Lawrence College and a communications intern with Sharp Again.

As a college student, it is important for me to bring my best every day. Being overwhelmed by stress can have undesirable consequences: arriving late to class or an important event, trying to finish a 12-page paper late at night, or skipping out on a meal to get work done.

Experiencing stress weakens how I perform in many aspects of life, which in turn brings more stress. I’ve learned through my college experience that the biggest risk factors for stress include procrastination, lack of preparation, and inadequate self-care.

Lowering stress levels and eliminating brain fog begins with taking care of myself. Making wise food choices and eating at reasonable times improves my overall mood, which increases the motivation I need in order not to procrastinate on work.

It’s important that I walk outside throughout the day, breathing in fresh air and experiencing nature to soothe my mind. Moreover, I’ve learned that an active body creates an active brain; this helps me to get a better night’s sleep, which also helps to recharge the brain.

I’ve discovered that what seem like small things can make a huge difference in managing my stress. For example, when I do my schoolwork I listen to classical music, which studies have shown can lessen anxiety and improve focus.

Furthermore, maintaining structure prevents stress from taking over my day. I like to prepare for the morning the night before by getting my books and supplies ready and thinking about what I’ll wear. It’s also helpful for me to write out a chronological list of what I want to accomplish the next day.

No matter what stage we are in our lives, managing stress is important and can create good habits. Maintaining these healthy habits can help ensure a future free of stress and bound by optimal brain performance.

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