- Don't try to keep stress to yourself. Talk to someone about obstacles, conflicts, and concerns right away. RAs, Cultural Encounters mentors, TAs, and even your professors, are willing to help you deal with the stresses of college life.
- Give your roommate a chance, but if after three weeks you foresee problems that can't be resolved (i.e., a boyfriend or girlfriend who stays over too much), talk to Residence Life and try to get moved.
- Set realistic goals: challenge yourself, but don't put so much pressure on yourself that you demand perfection or expect the impossible.
- Deal with stressful situations one step at a time.
- Get involved outside of the classroom, but don't feel that you have to do it all. Pick one or two extracurricular activities (including sports) that interest you.
- Make a semester-long calendar that includes all of your important due dates, sports games and practices, important social events, and other meetings, interviews, or review sessions that you have to attend.
- Highlight all of the due dates on your syllabi.
- Make sure you set time aside every day to do something relaxing, like watching TV, taking a walk, listening to music, or reading a book for pleasure.
- Try some deep breathing exercises or some meditation techniques to relax yourself before exams, papers, and presentations.
- Communicate with your roommate. If something bothers you, it is better to be honest from the beginning rather than let the problems get out of hand.
- Remember how you used to color with crayons and play with Play-Doh when you were a kid? Who says you can't now? Buy a drawing pad and crayons and a nice pack of bright Play-Doh and spend 10 minutes a day finding your inner child.
- Try to get some exercise three to five times per week.
- Get some fresh air every day.
- Make sure you drink enough water. Dehydration makes you feel sluggish and inactive. Eight to ten 8 oz. glasses per day is normal water intake your body needs. Try drinking water instead of soda with your meals. It will help to hydrate you and to alleviate what I like to call "Commonsitis" caused by the starchy foods served in the Dining Commons.
- Watch your caffeine intake. Sometimes coffee is a welcome boost at midnight when you're studying for tomorrow's exam, but too much of it can make you jittery and anxious. It will also dehydrate you and disrupt your sleep.
- Don't expect college to be one big party. It isn't. Face that fact now.
Prepared by Jason Zysk, English (2005)