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managing stress in college: tips from counseling

August 3, 2023

While college may be filled with excitement, it can also include moments of stress and anxiety. For many, college is the first time you are completely on your own. The college experience includes having newfound independence and new opportunities that also bring on new responsibilities. Managing all of the newness and learning to find balance in your personal and academic life can be challenging and stressful. It also can feel isolating to experience anxiety and stress when you feel like the expectation is that you “should” be having the time of your life.

We can ensure you that you are NOT alone when it comes to experiencing stress in college. Here are a few ways to manage these emotions:

1. Be open and vulnerable with friends

Sometimes it’s scary being vulnerable and open. But how you’re feeling is completely normal. In fact, your friends are most likely going through similar or the same feelings as you. By opening up to them, they may in return open back up to you. Not only will this further your relationship connection, but it also is validating to know you are not alone. Relating to someone about your experience can be helpful in learning to accept your emotions. Your friends may provide insight into how they have navigated similar stressors or provide comfort and support when you are going through a difficult time.

2. Access fun activities offered by your school

Schools often provide a range of activities outside of academics that can be a fun way to relieve stress. For example, you can visit the arts center,  museums, join groups and clubs, sign up for club sports, etc. Engaging in outside activities can be a fun way to enjoy what your school has to offer and give you a little break from the stress that comes with your academics.

3. Finding routine

The newfound independence you’re experiencing can be overwhelming. It may be difficult to learn how to effectively manage your time as college life comes with a lot less structure and flexibility than you had back in high school. Creating a routine and scheduling out your time can be an effective way to ensure you’re carving out time for all of your responsibilities, and also time to take care of yourself.

4. Organization and Writing It out

There are so many dates and assignments that it’s so hard to remember it all. The mental lists can feel never ending. Writing it out through to-do lists, a calendar, or a planner (even on your phone) can be helpful in organizing yourself and your time. Plus, it is very satisfying to cross something off your list when it is achieved. By writing it out you will have more security that you won’t forget your responsibilities and feel accomplished when they are complete.

5. Take Breaks

Each semester goes by quickly, but they are filled with so much going on. Often, we forget to give ourselves breaks that we mentally and physically need to rest and recharge. As a result, it is common to feel burnt out. Try to get ahead of burnout and stress by giving yourself breaks. For example, carve out time for a quick walk before heading to the library or try eating dinner at the dining hall instead of at your desk. Finding small pockets of time where you can take a break will help provide relief to constantly being on the go.

6. Therapy

See a professional who can help you navigate your college experience and improve your mental health. At Manhattan Wellness, you can learn tips to better manage college life, gain knowledge about yourself, and learn how to better cope with stressors.

therapy services we offer in manhattan

We understand that navigating, work, friendships, family, dating, and life as a young professional in Manhattan can come with many emotions and feelings behind it. This is why our Manhattan therapists offer a range of counseling services. The mental health services we offer are Depression Therapy, Anxiety Therapy, Individual Therapy, and Therapy for Self-Esteem. As well as Therapy for Women, Therapy for College Students, Maternal Mental Health Care, and more.

Are you feeling like you’re not living the life you want and need to make changes? Let’s talk about it.


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