Leaving for college can be stressful, but it can also be wonderful - one of the most exciting times of your life. Concern about leaving your home, your friends, and your family, along with the time worrying about how to adapt to college and how you'll fit in this new environment are normal worries for students transitioning to college. You are not alone. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 85% of college students reported that they had felt overwhelmed by everything they had to do at some point within the past year. Also 41.6% stated anxiety as the top presenting concern among college students.
Do you remember your first day of elementary school, how the halls seemed endless, and you were nervous about making friends? It all turned out just fine. College is not so different from taking that step in elementary school, and you're more prepared than you previously thought you were. However, we here at PathMatch understand that you are going to be a little more stressed and a little more anxious as you make this transition, and we are here to help. Here are six great ways to reduce stress in college.
Build a daily routine for yourself
In times of anxiety, a constructive way to cope with stress is to write out a plan for each day. A plan helps you feel like you have more control over your surroundings. Before you leave, buy a planner for yourself or get one at your campus’ bookstore and write down your classes or use online tools. Then, when you get your syllabi from your classes, write down any significant assignments you will have during the semester. Even though you will still have to write down your homework for each day, writing down those assignments will help you remember them, and relieve that feeling of forgetting something. Also in planning your day, make sure you carve out some time to relax. If you have a time limit for relaxation, you are less likely to procrastinate the day away.
I know exercise may seem like an annoying thing to do during the week. However, exercise can release endorphins and help you relieve stress. Exercise can include walking, running, or cycling - just try and get yourself moving. In college, it's going to feel like you are always surrounded by people. You will have a roommate, and sometimes you will want to be alone for a little while. Exercise is a great escape, and it is an excellent way to clear your head at the end of the day. Exercise is also a great way to meet people. "Hey, do you want to go to the gym together," is a really great way to connect over similar interests. Overall, exercise is going to help you reduce the stress that you felt during the day and make you feel less nervous. Plus, you might not have to worry about the freshman 15!
Rely on family and friends.
When you’re in college feeling stressed and anxious, reaching out to your family and friends can most of the time help relieve those feelings. Depending on the situation, you may want to reach out to your parents for certain issues like professor problems, while on the other hand, you may want to reach out to your friends from home or at school about roommate issues. Remember, most of your friends are going through the same transition, so they will understand what you’re going through. Regardless of the situation, relying on your support system can alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety. Lean on your friends and family in this transition. Don't feel like you need to be independent right away.
Understand that this transition will take time
One of the most significant ways that you can reduce stress is by giving yourself time to adjust. You don't need to find your friends at school right away, your adjustment to the level of academics will take time, and you don't need to find yourself right away. No one goes to school, and their life is immediately perfect. Going to college is a scary thing, and you must recognize that when you're sad and nervous. Don't feel stressed about having these emotions, fitting into any new environment takes time.
One significant way to reduce stress is to make sure that you are getting enough sleep. When you go to college, there are so many events going on that you may want to take a part of, but make sure you give yourself time to rest. Staying up all night watching tik toks may seem like a good idea, but it is not going to benefit your mental health in the future. Try to go to bed early so that you wake up with a clearer mind. Lack of sleep is a massive motivator in anxiety, so take care of yourself. You might miss a party or a hangout, but your mental health must come first during this time. If you're having trouble falling asleep, try listening to some sleep meditations or just let your body relax for a while.
The majority of the students we’ve worked with were stressed or anxious about their future, which they have every right to be. The world in general asks late teens/young adults to expect to choose a career path they want to pursue for the rest of their life. That alone is a lot of pressure!
That’s where PathMatch comes in. We use AI to match students to in-demand, recession-resilient careers based on 100+ variables that define career fulfillment and success. And that's just the beginning! Check out our flexible plans to see what we offer.
Wondering what you'll do after college? Download the Pathmatch app to discover companies that match your interests, strengths, and goals! Pathmatch can help find the perfect career fit for you!