by Sabrina Young, CGCC Peer Success Coach
College is complicated and busy, with a lot of moving parts in both your school and personal lives. It is easy to overwork yourself, which can affect your physical, mental, and emotional health. As someone who is familiar with stress and anxiety in college, I want to give my tips for avoiding unnecessary stress.
Planners and Checklists - I prefer a physical planner to programs like Google Calendar. I write down due dates, when to start an assignment, and when to have a certain section finished. I also put all of my non-school tasks like appointments and chores. In a separate place, I also write down all the steps for each assignment and longer tasks on my to-do. This helps me see how easily each step can be finished and feel more ready to tackle the assignment.
Prioritize - When I’m overwhelmed, I prioritize my work by importance instead of due date. I rate all my tasks from one to ten based on how impactful it is – one has little to no effect and ten is vital to my health, school, or future. This can be used for more than just school, like cleaning your car or scheduling an appointment.
Turn Off Notifications and Badges - Only do this if it won’t hinder you. The Canvas app has an icon with the number of assignments on your to-do list, which I find stress-inducing to be reminded of constantly. Sometimes, I just have to turn that off – the same goes for email notifications. I can still refer to my planner and open the app for due dates during this, so it eliminates the extra stress without making it harder for me to work.
Talk to Your Professors! - I cannot stress this enough, please talk to them. So many professors are willing to give their students extensions or help them when they are struggling. Whether there was a family emergency, you have too much on your plate, or something else, talk to them. I have received multiple extensions due to anxiety and stress. Your professors may be willing to do the same, but you won’t know if you don’t ask them.
Let Yourself Have Fun and Relax - Please don’t forget that you’re more than just a student. You are a human and you can’t work constantly. If you don’t give yourself time to rest and do things you enjoy, you’ll crash. Take a day to relax, hang out with your friends, call your parents – do what makes you happy! I like to draw, watch video essays and Studio Ghibli movies, and call my best friend. Whatever lets you reset and have fun, do it. Find the time because you need it. I am an honors student taking seventeen credits, working part-time, and in three clubs. I would’ve gone insane already if I didn’t give myself time to rest and enjoy life; you need to also.
I hope one of these strategies helps you. I know college can be stressful, but I’m cheering for you!