Being a new student is probably one of the most stressful experiences I’ve been through. It’s like you’re thrown into some kind of insect habitat and people are scrutinizing you: your professors, your parents, even yourself. Everyone expects you to do well, but nobody seems to have advice to help you do that. Even if they do have advice, it may not be applicable to your particular situation.
One of the things I find most challenging is relaxing. I really have a hard time winding down at the end of the day; partially because I take part in so many activities – I have a lot of work to do with all of the organizations I’m involved in! – and at night, my mind is still racing, focusing on what I did during the day.
So if you’re having a hard time winding down at the end of a long day, or just relaxing in general, I’m right there with you. To help both of us out, I’ve scoured the Web and asked around for some of the best tips on how to relax on campus.
- Don’t stress about being stressed – The director of the Honors Program here at UNA mentioned this the other night in our forum class. He said that many students start to feel challenged in school and get stressed out about it. They end up feeling like they’re bad students because they’re being challenged. That emotional berating makes students feel even worse. You should know that you’re in school to be challenged, so you can learn more and make good career choices.
- Do things you love! Relaxing isn’t necessarily about going to a spa, taking a nap, or being lazy. You can do labor intensive activities and feel great afterwards. If you love working out, playing music, reading, juggling, fire breathing (in which case you should probably check fire codes), or have any other hobby, take plenty of time to do that. Otherwise, you’re just a work drone – studying, working, homework-doing, etc.
- Just hang out. Being with friends is a great way to decompress and have fun. You’ve got listening ears that know what you’re going through. Take advantage of it (but not your buddies!) and make time for social activities.
- Get some quiet time. A good amount of quiet time each week will help reduce stress. Whether that’s reading a good book, meditating, going to a spa, or doing some other relaxing activity, take some time and let your mind wind down and stand still. Constant worrying about tests and homework isn’t good for anyone!
- Don’t procrastinate! Putting things off only leads to more stress and worry. Just do it! You’ll feel better and will have more free time later.
- Laugh! Laughter truly is the best medicine – so take some of it! I like to listen to Ricky Gervais while I’m studying or reading something for class. I work best when multitasking, and having something fun as a second activity makes everything better.
- Dance. Yes, engage in the Sixteen Candles sort of revelry that we never seem to have time for. Just five minutes ago, I was dancing to “Midnight City” by M83.
I hope these tips help and don’t stress yourself out too much!
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