How to make college life stress free?
Indeed, being a college student is one of the most challenging and stressful areas of life’s development. But you shouldn’t freak out; nor stopped from realizing your goal of becoming a college graduate. This is the reason why I created this article to help young students who, like me in my college years, experienced difficulties in their studies.
Let me introduce to you the techniques that I’ve had used back in college. These strategies helped me a lot to graduate on time and have a stress free mind. I chose to give my own techniques because I’ve tested them and it worked for me. If so, then it must also be effective to you. Furthermore, I don’t want to talk about concepts which I don’t have personal knowledge whatsoever.
Here it is…
The way to a stress free college life
You can minimize or eliminate stress by doing the following:
1. Jotting down notes
The number of students who attentively listen to class discussion is getting lesser. And the ultimate outcome of this behavior is poor grades.
Why making notes during the discussion is important? When I was a student, I made sure that I recorded all the important concepts being discussed. Why? Because I did not rely on my memory. Although you can remember what was being discussed, it will not last. This is because our brain mostly stores information in short-term memory. And short-term memory will not last long.
The long-term memory, however, is the information that lasts for a long time. Sadly, many stimuli are short-term including class lectures. The biggest question is how you can make a short-term into a long-term memory.
Making any information linger in your mind for a long time, you need to establish constant contact with the information. For instance, if you want to remember your lectures well, you need to read it over and over again. This constant engagement with the stimulus will create a neural connection in the brain. And that new connection between neurons will hold the information you want to remember. This is the biggest reason why you need to have a good note during class discussions.
2. Beat procrastination
Well, it is easier to say this than to actually do. Procrastination is one if not the biggest challenge for students. Some students have little if any interest in their studies. They seemed defeated by procrastination.
As a student, how can you stop procrastination and make your college life easier and stress free? It’s not easy. To me, there are many ways you can stay focus on studying your lesson. What works for other students may not necessarily work for you.
But I would like to share with you my techniques in fighting against procrastination. When I was a student, I set a time for everything. There was a time for everything. A study time is exclusively used for studying. But the hardest part of setting yourself to study is to start.
Deciding to study can be easy. You can decide to study after dinner for two-three hours. But guess what, to really start reading your notes is the hardest thing to do. In fact, in all tasks, most people struggle to start doing what is necessary to be done.
How can you manage yourself to start doing what is necessary to be done? In my case, I just sit and read my notes regardless of how I feel. I don’t care whether or not I feel good reading my notes. By doing that, I find excitement inside me that keeps me moving for how many hours reading. People call it discipline. But to me, it’s just a matter of controlling the part of your mind that seeks pleasure.
Sigmund Freud, one of the most well-known figures in psychology has a controversial theory on why we generally love to seek pleasure. In Freud’s reasoning, our personality has three provinces: id, ego, and superego. Each component has a specific impact on our personality.
For instance, the id, which is very strong during childhood drives children to rise unreasonable demand such as requiring parents to buy expensive toys. Children never mind whether or not their parents can afford it.
The problem of the Id, according to Freud, is that it has no contact with the reality. It does not know the results of your action. The only thing that it concerns about is to satisfy the pleasure.
Cramming is the result of pleasure. Id may be the reason why most students spend time in their unproductive activities rather than doing something significant like reading or studying.
Students are more inclined to activities that can immediately satisfy pleasure. Because academic success takes time and effort, students may easily get bored. If you want to fight procrastination, you need to fight the id. Be realistic about your goal. Determine what is it that you need to do. Break down the big task into smaller pieces and work on them one piece at a time. Procrastination will start to kick in when you try to accomplish so many things at a time.
Procrastination will start to kick in when you try to accomplish so many things at a time.
3. Take care of your body
No doubt that the life of a student is busy beating the deadline. The overwhelming tasks are enough to cause students stress.
But no matter how busy you are, do not forget to take care of your body. Your health is the most important wealth you have. Taking care of your physical health involves eating healthy foods, enough sleep, and exercise.
When I was a student, setting schedule helped me a lot to be organized. Make a list of everything that you need to do. But you need to be honest with the schedule. This means that you need to do what is on the schedule.
Using time efficiently is the key ingredient towards a stress free life. You need to understand that what makes you stressed is the multi-layered academic tasks. So spending your time correctly allows you to take a time to relax and sleep.
4. Take a time to laugh
To succeed in your academic endeavor, you don’t need to be too serious. Although you need to comply with all the requirements, you need to balance your time. Laughing is vital to ease your stress. Find time to spend with your friends watching funny videos or talking funny stories. Laughing can simply change your emotional state.
Psychological studies found that a simple smile can dramatically change a person’s emotion. Smiling can boost your dopamine in the brain, a neurotransmitter (chemical) which is responsible for producing a stress free feeling.
5. Take it constructively
If you feel overwhelmed, try to figure out the cause of your problem. And figure out how to deal with it piece by piece. Make a clear assessment of what is really going on. Then take actions that correspond to the problem.
If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask your trusted friends. A school counselor can be the best source of guidance.
How about you? What is your stress free tip?
Leave your thoughts below.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.