Managing Stress: Advice from a First Year
As Freshmen still learning the ropes of college life, we're still acclimating ourselves to the ten-week terms. But does the ten-week term mean? Honestly, I haven't fully figured that out yet, as I am still in the midst of the "fast paced" term. I do know it's shorter than what I'm used to, but so far, I've found it manageable, especially because of the amount of time we have. As opposed to high school, where we were in classes from 7 to 3 for 5 days a week, my college classes are only three hours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. So with all this extra time on my hands, it's much easier to complete coursework and get a good night's rest than it was in high school.
However, there is another element thrown into the mix in college life: the very active clubs and social events! While these activities are loads of fun, as well as place to see current friends and meet new ones, there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to managing your time.
So how do you manage the stress that ensues when your scale gets out of wack? My go-to is FOCO (dining hall called Class of '53 Commons, FOCO for short) desserts! The cookies are amazing, but they have all sorts of other options! My tops are the apple dumplings, cream puffs, and tiramisu cake!
Another big thing is reaching out to professors. If you are struggling and need help, students always have a resource who is always willing to talk while being endlessly understanding and unquestionably kind. Our professors all have office hours, time set aside for the sole purpose of discussing anything with students, and also open up their schedules to make appointments with students. As they are teaching their life's work, professors are always excited to discuss the subject matter with students. The professors I've had this term truly care about helping their students, showing that our education is not just the school's mission but it is also the mission of the professors.
One of the biggest things I've learned is that it's ok to say no to fun things. With school as a priority, there is not always time to go to every social event throughout the week. While it's hard passing on a social event or club activity to stay in the library, it allows you to make the most of the events you decide to make time for and can even provide an added incentive to for schoolwork. Sometimes I spend Friday and Saturday morning tucked into a corner of the library so that I can have an amazing time with friends Saturday evening!
Another thing I had to learn and keep reminding myself is don't forget to make time for yourself! It's easy to get caught up in social activities and schoolwork, but making time for yourself is essential, as it gives you a space to unwind and slow down, preventing burnout and improving wellbeing. Also, if you are stressed, know that you are not alone: if you're feeling something, chances are someone else on campus is feeling that way, too. So don't hesitate to reach out to friends to see if they can brighten your study session with a bit of company!
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