As fall approaches, many college students are getting ready to head back to school. And whether it’s your freshman year or your senior year, you’ve got a lot on your plate.
You’re worried about balancing all of your coursework, you’re stressed about getting the internship you want, and you have no idea how you’re going to get any sleep. Overall, you want to work hard to create a bright future for yourself. But you’re anxious that you won’t be able to handle all the pressure.
It’s completely normal to feel some anxiety as you prepare for another school year. Here are a few tips to help college students manage their anxiety about going back to school.
Keep a Long-Term Perspective
As a college student, you’re dealing with plenty of stressors. But it’s all too easy to let minor mistakes cloud your vision of your future. Remember, one poor score on an exam, or even a bad grade in a class, does not mean that you will never get the job you want after graduation.
You do not have to stress over every misstep. Keep the big picture in mind and continue moving towards your goals.
Don’t Overload Your Schedule
You might be tempted to take on some extra credits, sign up for several extracurriculars solely to beef up your resume, or get involved with a volunteer effort on campus. Pushing yourself to try new things and take responsibility in different areas is good, but overloading your schedule can lead to burnout.
Instead, take a step back and focus on the extracurriculars that are most important, and make sure that your credits are spread out appropriately during each semester.
Take Frequent Study Breaks
Pulling all-nighters will leave you exhausted, and if you make a habit out of it, your mental health will suffer. Instead, create a realistic study schedule and stick to it. Block off time for studying and working on papers and projects well before they are due. That way, you won’t be staying up all night before you need to turn in an assignment.
And most importantly, leave room for study breaks! Taking breaks to give your mind a rest is vital and will actually help you stay focused for longer periods of time.
Practice Good Physical Health Habits
When you’re busy with schoolwork, it’s all too easy to let your physical health habits slide. But working out, eating well, and getting plenty of sleep are all essential for your mental health and overall wellbeing.
Aim to eat healthy snacks during your study sessions, and if you’re able to cook in your dorm or apartment, try to make home-cooked meals when possible rather than going out to eat or going to the dining hall.
If you have access to a gym on your campus, try to work out a couple of times per week, even just a half-hour on the treadmill will be beneficial!
Ask for Help When You Need It
You don’t need to struggle through college alone. If you’re going through a tough time, or you feel truly overwhelmed by anxiety, it’s okay to ask for help.
You may be able to see a counselor on campus. You might also want to talk to a trusted professor or student advisor about classes that you’re finding difficult. College is difficult, and it helps to lean on someone you trust.
Are you struggling with anxiety as you prepare to go back to school? Talking to a therapist can help. Reach out today to discuss your options for scheduling your first session.