Outplaying College Stress

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Succeeding in college is about having a goal and a game plan. Having fun in college should also mean getting all beefed up for the life that lies ahead.

College is a phase in your life where you have to play it big because it is the precedent to the quality of life that you will have in the future. Not that it’s the only thing that counts, but a college education will open boundless doors to those who make something out of it. There are those who enter college and finish a degree free of bumps, yet there are those who drop out as early as the second semester during the freshman year. How you become successful in your years in college is determined by how well you play your game. Your best bet to winning is through thorough preparation--a chunk of it you do in your senior year in high school; determination--the day-to-day life in the campus is challenging in many aspects; and discipline--the pitfalls may sometimes be difficult to avoid, so you should let your strong moral background come into play.

The stress factors in college life are as inevitable as a nasty flu. Stress is a screaming oppressor, yet most of the time it’s difficult to point a finger at your stressors, so they are often left disregarded. 

Stress, when not dealt with, is detrimental to a person’s psychological, mental, emotional and physical well-being.

College is a wonderful time to explore your genius and you can’t do that with poor health.

Understanding Your Game

I like to compare college to a huge ball game because it provides a simple platform for understanding. And well, ball games have an unobjectable capacity to excite anyone. The object is to win, and the only way to win is to play a good game. College is a time when you are on your own and how well you do during this crucial stage in your life is solely dependent on how you handle your game. You are your own coach, your best player and your own referee. 

To successfully get to your end-goal, you have to have a good strategy in dealing with the humps. The first step is understanding the causes of stress that might be affecting you:

Photo courtesy of CNN Money

Financial Stress  

Everyone worries about money and college students are not spared from the occasional financial crisis. It’s your first time away from home and you’re worried you’re not armed with good financial management skills. Well, who is? It takes time for some young people to learn how to do good budgeting of their daily/weekly/monthly allowance. Until then money will be a contributor to stress so it would be helpful to get guidance from somebody with financial know-how. 

Photo Courtesy of Chuck Newton

Peer Pressure 

Parents fear this more than anything else. It all begins in high school and it doesn’t stop there. In college, people from all directions, with different beliefs, moral backgrounds, and religious affiliations will walk into your life. Some of them become your friends, which is good, unless they start imposing things on you that will jeopardize your life on campus. It will not hurt to choose your friends.

Photo Courtesy of Baloo Cartoons


This is the be all and end all of anyone getting a degree in college. Getting into college is not much of a challenge for most, but their staying-power starts to get challenged when the academic load starts to pile up during the sophomore year. There are those who jump from one major to another thinking this will ease up the load. The truth of the matter is it won’t. Discipline and perseverance should be your two best friends to help you through your academic progress.

Photo Courtesy of Funny Cartoon Images

Responsibilities and Family 

College is a time when you experience life outside the comforts of your home. In college, you are expected to perform greater responsibilities because you are now a part of a bigger organization which is the university. The stress stems from the expectations that people have on you since you will be judged according to how well you deliver your tasks, whether these are small ones like homework or important ones like presentations. The best remedy for this is preparation. 

Preparing for the Play-off

Stress may be an inevitable part of college life, but it should never be your reason to fail. There are ways to handle stress:

Set Goals 

Without goals you will be floating in a sea of academic work load and not have the grasp of what your progress should be. You must have an outline of what you want to achieve every semester and set a realistic goal as to how to accomplish this. Start with your curriculum outline. Do advance reading as much as you can so you can optimize your learning. The load gets heavier as you go along and this is where preparation is going to help you.

Manage Your Time 

The academics is just part of an integral whole in the spectrum of learning. There are extra-curricular activities that will help you develop your skills set to prepare you for a future career. However, without time management it will be easy to get tangled in a schedule that might interrupt with your academics. Put your schedule into writing and make sure you’re faithful to it.


There are others who claim that they work better amidst mess. This is not true for all, and studies suggest that the more organized you are, the closer you are to achieving your set of goals. 


Get Enough Sleep 

Your level of concentration is compromised if you don’t get at least eight hours of sleep. Again, being organized and strictly managing your time will prevent you from the pitfall of losing sleep because you need to cram for exams and do last minute research for a big presentation.



There is no better way to enhance your creative skills in writing than keeping a journal where you can freely express your worries, and also jot down your college life experiences. This is a paper trail of your thoughts that you can always go back to.


Eat Healthy 

A healthy body bears a healthy mind. The kind of diet that you have will dictate your well-being. Keep those veggies and fruits within each. 



Laughing releases endorphins that will put you in a better mood. This is the cheapest and the most potent way I know of staying healthy. Ever heard of Laughter Yoga?  It is a zestful kind of yoga that will help you and your friends discover that there’s more to laughter than what you already know about it.

 Indications that you are under stress

  •  You worry too much
  • You have difficulty concentrating
  • You are short-tempered
  • You experience tightening of your muscles
  • You experience changes in your eating habits 
  •  You have insomnia
  • You miss classes because of fatigue

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