How to cope with stress

Despite their efforts, many college students find themselves scrambling to get things finished. They struggle to balance work, school, family, relationships and friends. Often times, they take on more responsibility than they can handle, causing stress overload.

“In general, students are spread very thin between work, home and relationships,” explains City College intern counselor Nadine Rogers.

While “good stress,” makes you perform better and accomplish more; “bad stress,” or distress, can contribute to diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic illnesses.

For college students, it’s important to know their boundaries, and not overload themselves with responsibilities that they cannot complete. Common stressors college students face are change, conflict, overload and financial worry.

Changes can take you outside your comfort zone and cause stress. Being flexible and knowing how to handle and adapt to change is a good way to prevent stress.

“Major life changes and transitions, all at the same time, take you off your norm, which can easily lead to stress,” said Rogers.

Conflicts with friends, relatives, boyfriends/girlfriends, coworkers, employers or neighbors also cause stress. Individuals should resolve issues with the people in their life, and it will eliminate unnecessary stress.

College students strive to succeed and therefore find themselves swimming, not drowning, in an ocean of commitments. When individuals take on more than they can handle, they let people down instead of pleasing them, as they intended.

“Students overwhelm themselves sometimes because they want to be good students. Usually, that’s the heart of it,” said Rogers.

Overload is a major cause of stress in college and the best way to prevent it is mastering realistic time management. Think ahead, make time for all the elements of your life and plan accordingly. Make a time management plan and stick to it. Be realistic and avoid procrastination.

Along with your time management plan, make a budget and stick to it. Write down how much money you will need each month to cover bills, food, gas, and other financial responsibilities you have.

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to treat stress. Not only does it benefit physical wellness, but exercise also improves mental wellness. It is proven that exercise releases endorphins, relieves anger, frustration, depression and even anxiety.

All these stressors relate to one another, as Rogers explained. For instance, if you don’t manage your time properly, you will be rushed throughout the day and get to sleep late; if you don’t get good sleep, you are fatigued; low energy levels lead to procrastination.

“The best way to deal with stress is finding a balance between education, social life and work,” said Rogers. “Realistic time management is key.”