Freshman year brings a lot of excitement along with it. You get to face new challenges, meet new people and learn how to manage a million things together. Imagine waking up at 7 AM, cooking breakfast, rushing to morning lectures, going for an evening shift in the restaurant AND going out to party with your friends- all in one day. To top it all, you’d also have assignments to submit and exams to study for. Sounds stressful right? Don’t you worry! We’re here to help you with these 5 very effective ways to handle the freshmen stress:
1. Take Care Of Your Mind
You know that feeling when you can’t focus on anything because your head is in a rush and loaded with a million thoughts? Yes, that is your mind telling you to pause, and relax. This is a stress indicator which, if identified can be acted upon easily. The most common stress indicators include headaches, anxiety, bad stomach, mood swings, tense muscles, restlessness, and insomnia. If you feel any of these symptoms, try and take a step back and relax with a guided meditation session. To manage stress in the long term, you’ll need a combination of meditation and a lot of other things. For starters, try and maintain a routine of eating healthy, having a proper sleep cycle and being physically active. When it comes to freshman year, students tend to set some unrealistic goals and expectations for themselves. Which gives rise to freshman year college stress. Do your mind a favour and go easy on those. Give yourself positive affirmations and take it at your own pace!
2. Do The Financial Calculations
We know, student loans can be a huge reason for stress. But if you do your math right, you won’t have to stress on that money in your college years. Do quick math of how much you’d owe by the end of college and you’ll have a clear answer of how much time you’d have to spend on academics and extracurriculars in college. You can also take help of online student debt advice tools to figure out solutions to financial problems. Even if you don’t have a debt, you can skip the financial woes by adding up your living expenses and tuition and plan your spending for each day. Use apps like Mint, PocketGuard and Wally to keep track of your spending and you won’t have to worry about being broke at the end of each month!
3. Identify Your Purpose
You ever have those days when you have tons of assignments to do and yet you end up attending those frat parties in the next flat? Yes, we have those too. But the worst part comes when you wake up the next day and reality hits you- when you remember all those assignments you skipped and that you are now loaded with work. It is easy to get carried away with so many things going on in freshman year. But if you have a clear purpose, it’ll be a walk in the park. The trick is to ask yourself what you want your life to look like after college. Live debt-free, become a millionaire or travel the world? You’ll have the answer. And it will then help you set your priorities right and rescue the college freshman stress levels.
4. Create Your Tribe
It is easy to tell freshmen to just “go out there and make friends” but its never that simple. So we won’t do that. We have another effective way for you to create a tribe in college. The easiest way to meet like-minded people and make friends in college is to join a student club. Find a student club for a hobby you love, a sport you like playing or anything else that interests you. This will not only help you make new friends but will also help you relax doing something you love. Give yourself a dopamine rush, and join the student club you had been eyeing since the first day (we know you have!)
5. Practice Stress Relieving Techniques
Feeling like your mind is all over the place? Here are some effective stress-relieving techniques for you:
- Before speaking or reacting in haste, count to 10
- Take 5 deep, slow breaths to align your mind and body
- Speak out loud some positive affirmations to yourself before a stressful event
- Use the 5-4-3-2-1 technique to cope with anxiety: Look for 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste around you.
- Keep a journal or gratitude journal to write down how you feel and count your blessings.
Freshman stress is quite real, but it’s nothing you can’t manage. Although, if you’re finding it difficult to cope with it, we recommend you reach out to your university counsellors or call these helplines. Know that there is help out there, all you need to do is reach out.