Managing Stress in College

Macmillan Employee
Macmillan Employee
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Get yourself on the right track!


In college, you are bound to encounter stress on more than a few occasions, especially if you are involved in an organization or have a job. You may at some point question if you are even cut out for college or your major because so many assignments and exams jumble up at the same time as one another. I am here to tell you that this stress is manageable if you follow these key steps.

Mental health services are available for students -- take advantage of them if you feel like college is too much

There are plenty of resources for stress management at your university. There is therapy for individual stress, group therapy if your stress extends within your friend group, and there may be relaxation rooms to help you take a step back and cool down mentally. In addition to trying therapy and other mental services, there may also be on-campus psychologists or psychiatrists who could give you their recommendations for relieving stress as well as being other people you could be comfortable talking to about your stress. If your psychiatrist evaluates you and sees that prescribing medication, such as an SSRI, is a possibility to relieve stress, be open to it because these medications are helpful with balancing your mood. This medication may or may not work for you as everyone’s body reacts differently to each medication, but it is better to try to feel better than not at all. There are plenty of SSRIs available if one does not work for you, and the benefits outweigh the costs of taking the medication as a prescription. You understand your body best, so speak to your doctor if the prescribed medication does not work for you. Taking the medication should also not be the end all be all to relieve your stress, and the other steps below are available to alleviate that as well.

Use aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a natural way for you to use your senses in order to help you calm down. Aromatherapy costs a little bit to use, but the cost is very little considering the benefit of being able to relax can be priceless. You can purchase aromatherapy devices or lotions from companies such as Air Wick, Glade, and Bath and Body Works.

Give yourself a break

You do not have to tackle all your work at once; if you do, your final product could be sloppy. It is better to space assignments out because your brain needs time to relax. Your breaks should not be too long, though. You need to still tackle ackle your assignments in a timely manner. It's all about balance!

Positive self-talk.

You are your biggest critic. Don’t overthink or doubt yourself if you get a poor grade. If you get a bad grade, you get a bad grade. You can bring your grades up but shouldn’t feel as though you’re obligated to get straight As in college. Your future boss will still hire you if you get a B or a C in a class. You are only human, and as long you did your best, you shouldn’t be critical of yourself. Being critical of yourself adds to your stress level. Give yourself a break.

All in all, stress is natural in college and you shouldn’t be afraid to face it during your journey. Sometimes classes will hit you like a truck, but all you can do is pick yourself back off the ground and keep on trudging. There is light at the end of the tunnel and the light is your future degree.


Jacob Concolino
University of Kentucky

I am currently pursuing a BS in Chemical Engineering at the University of Kentucky. I am also pursuing a minor in German and have been to the country twice. I can speak some German, and I listen to every genre of music from German to country to rap to pop.