How to Avoid Stress in College: Tips for Students

How to Avoid Stress in College

Have you ever felt like something has grabbed you by the scruff of your neck and does not let go even though you want to set yourself free? If the answer is yes, it is most likely, that you suffer from stress. What is more, if you are a college student, stress is almost imminent for you because being overwhelmed with constant assignments and tasks makes you feel down in the dumps. However, there are ways to avoid stress, and before we talk about them, let us break it down for you what stress is.

Stress is nothing but the reaction of your body and psyche to the life circumstances requiring an adequate response. Stress can be met with either mental, physical, or emotional responses, and the one thing you should know about stress is that it is normal. Here is a bit of statistic data for you, eight in ten students worldwide have suffered from stress at least once during their spell in college. While feeling stressed is nothing to be ashamed of, it does not mean that it is obligatory. So, in this article, we are going to talk about how to avoid stress in college.

Main Stressors in Student’s Life

A student’s life, as it has already been mentioned, is full of stress. Nonetheless, you will never be able to fly away from it if you do not know what causes it. Here comes the list of the pivotal stressors in student’s life:

  • Tests

There is, probably, no need to explain why tests and exams take the top spot on the list of stressors in the life of a student. Going through an extended spell of exams and tests might be quite challenging, and it is all right to feel stressed.

  • A Messy Schedule

No, we are not talking about the schedule of your classes. It is all about the way you organize your time. Let’s face it that the majority of us do not know how to manage our time. Thus, we end up stressed because we leave ourselves with a lot of work to do and no almost no time to deal with it.

  • No Sleep

Come on, we all know what it feels like to burn the midnight oil right before the exams. While it might seem a harmless experience at first, a couple of sleepless nights will surely have a long-lasting effect on your health. So, sleep tight!

  • Lot of Homework

Even when the semester is still at dawn, there might be a lot of homework to deal with. There is no other way to get away with it but to learn how to manage your time properly. Sometimes, it is not much homework that you have, but the disproportionate time allocation that makes your stressed.

  • No Relaxation

If you wonder what causes burnout in the first place, the answer is the lack of relaxation. Dedication to your studies is, without a doubt, a virtue, but you have to let your hair down from time to time. Remember, all work and no joy make Jack a dull boy!

  • No Support

Unfortunately, no every student has somebody to talk to about his or her problems. Stress management is impossible when a person has nobody to share her problems with. Students are human beings, after all, and sometimes everything they need is just a bit of mental reignition.

  • Unexpected Routine Changes

Do you know that feeling when you had your week planned, but all of a sudden, a professor decides that you have to write a big paper for extra credit? Well, it seems that every student does. Well, there is no way to save oneself from situations like this, so you might just know that it is all right to feel stressed when such things happen.

Types of Stress Among Students

As it has been already mentioned, students are quire prone to experiencing stress. Therefore, there is nothing to wonder about when one claims that there are several types of stress among students. To elaborate, there are four pivotal types of stress that a student can suffer from, not even knowing that.

  • Acute Stress

This is the most widespread form of stress which stems from recent and, most often, unexpected stressors. For example, having to write a ten-pager in two days because you had forgotten about it two weeks ago might lead you to suffer from an acute form of stress.

  • Episodic Acute Stress

The episodic acute stress is the next form of acute stress as it is being characterized by an increased frequency of the stress strokes. Suffering from episodic acute stress might be a sight of a protracted exposure of an individual to the stressors and irritators.

  • Chronic Acute Stress

This is the most aggravated form of stress that a student can suffer from as it reaches the chronic stage, which is one of the hardest to get out of. Can you imagine being constantly stressed? It feels horrible, and it definitely messes with your studies, productivity, and life in general.

  • Physical Stress

The biggest problem with physical stress is that it is the hardest to define or diagnose. You probably put the mental causes at the very back of the list of issues that might have caused nausea, vomiting, splitting headaches, etc. Well, everything our body does is a reaction to something, and remember, it reacts to mental stressor just the way it would react to spoiled fish that you had for dinner.

Sings of Stress

The first step towards overcoming or at least balancing stress is being able to define that you are stressed, right? A doctor cannot treat a patient that does not want to share what bothers him. So, here come the six signs of stress that you should be aware of in order to be able to give it an adequate response.

1. Increased Anxiety

Feeling anxious about the situations that might not even happen to you? Well, this is the first sign that you are depressed. Reach out to someone you trust and at least try having a conversation with that person about your problems.

2. Lack of Motivation

If you feel like everything you are doing or plan to do is worthless, even if you felt quite enthusiastic about it a week ago, you might have fallen into a depression.

3. Anger

If you feel like you’re being irritated too easily, you should, probably, start thinking whether you are no depressed. Remember, uncontrolled anger is the first sign of depression or stress.

4. Distorted Sleep

Experiencing troubles with falling asleep even when you feel tired? Uncle stress is knocking on your doors with the heavy fist of chronic depression.

5. Constant Unrest

You might need to reduce stress if you find yourself in a state of constant unrest. Negative and yet ungrounded thoughts are capable of leading you towards paranoia, as stress and depression form the launching pad from where the rocket of all the other mental illnesses rushes straight into the space of bigger problems.

6. Physical Health Issues

If you experience some weird physical processes going on in your organism, like, for example, clenched jaw, you should definitely check-up with a doctor, but do not forget to think whether you have been stressed lately.

Checklist to Determine If You Feel Stressed

Sometimes, a student’s life might be so busy that there is no time to check up on doctors or counselors when they feel stressed. However, you can embark upon a self-check to define whether you’re stressed or not. So, here comes the checklist of 10 questions which you can ask yourself to define whether you are stressed or not:

Question for Self-Assessment



Do you feel tired often?


Did you feel nervous often the course of the last couple of days?


Do you find it hard for you to calm yourself down?


Have you noticed any strange or awkward bodily reaction in the last couple of days or weeks?


How often do you feel insecure?


How often do you suffer from insomnia?


Do you find it hard to start doing something, even something that you like?


Do you feel worthless sometimes?


Have you experienced problems justifying your decisions?


How often you feel down in the dumps?


Stress Management Tips

Even if you feel stressed already, there are ways of getting out of this pitfall. Also, you might find those tips useful to prevent yourself from getting captured by depression and stress.

  1. It would help if you always managed your time properly. If you don’t care about your deadlines, there will come the day when they will start pushing too hard upon you. If academic load is too much it might be reasonable to say 'help me do my homework' and use some third party services to stay healthy. 'Can I pay someone to write my paper' is a common thought between students. There's nothing to be ashamed.
  2. More physical activity on the fresh air will help you get rid of negative emotions. Use every opportunity to do so to your most significant advantage.
  3. Keep it positive and perceive every situation, not as a failure but a lesson. Every single negative thought is another brick in the wall of stress that you build for yourself.
  4. It would be best if you stopped procrastinating because this is the worst thing that can happen to you. When you procrastinate, you are neither working nor relaxing; this is the state of total mental ambiguity that is not good for you.
  5. Putting order to your academic life must become a must. You should know that studying can be a duly organized process, and you will feel much better mentally when it is.
  6. Reject the need for multi-tasking. Take it one step at a time, and do not try to deal with several projects at once. Well, refer to the point above and organize your academic life properly.
  7. More time with friends and your loved ones is the best remedy for your mental health. Make sure that you pay attention to them.
  8. You need water in order to remain healthy, and this rule of thumb does not apply to your physical health solely.
  9. Get a hobby! You heard me! Find something you love and invest a lot of your time into it.
  10. Eat healthy because you are what you eat. It has been scientifically proven that our nutrition has a lot of impact on the way we feel, both physically and mentally.

Where to Find Help

Below, you will find the list of 20 resources, organizations, apps, etc. which you can contact, use, and refer to if you feel like you need some help

1. College or University Mental Counsel

Each and every university must have its own board or department of psychological help for the students.

2. The American Institute of Stress

This is a nationwide organization that provides help to those in need of psychological support.

3. Samaritans

Samaritans is a worldwide online portal for people suffering from stress and found in an acute need for help.

4. Rethink Depression

This is a revolutionary hub for those who are eager to change their life for the better by getting out of the stress pitfall.

5. The Sanvello App

The app has been developed for the sake of helping your deal with stress whenever your go.

6. Calm

Meditation is one of the best ways of dealing with stress. This app has been created in order to help you meditate and fall asleep whenever you want to.

7. Staying Safe

Stress and depression are cunning enemies that constantly want to take you down. If you feel like your depression is growing into something bigger, make sure that you hurry to contact this organization.

8. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Stress often leads to a serious mental problem, which, in turn, people into doing drugs. This organization has been created to help people who suffer from stress.

9. It Gets Brighter

Share your story of depression and stress with those who have been through it and feel the relief.

10. Young Minds

The Young Minds organization has been created to help young people come out with their mental problems and not be afraid to talk about them feeling constantly stressed and depressed.

11. Tuck’s Guide to Anxiety and Sleep

Sleep deprivation is one of the most widespread causative factors and, at the same time, symptoms of stress. Make sure that you reach out to this organization if you can’t handle the problem on your own.

12. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Unfortunately, stressed and depressed people are more likely to commit suicide. Please, do not take your mental health for granted.

13. Grief Share

One of the biggest mistakes that depressed people do is staying silent about their problems. This organization will help you get verbal relief and share your problems with the people who understand you.

14. Better Help

Feel like talking to somebody about your problems? This website will be of great help!

15. Anxiety and Depression Association of America

The country’s biggest organization that deals with the issues related to depression.

16. National Institute of Mental Health

This is the organization that you should contact regarding any questions pertaining to your mental health.

17. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Visit this website and find a local organization that you can contact in order to get over your depression.

18. Crisis Hotline

You can contact this hotline whenever you feel in a fervent need for having a conversation with someone who will understand you.

19. Erika’s Lighthouse

This organization is one of the leading incentives when it comes to building awareness about stress among youths and teenagers.

20. Social Security Administration

If you feel like you need financial help with getting the remedy that you need for dealing with depression, feel free to contact this organization.


Dealing with stress is not that easy as it might seem at first sight, especially if you are a college student. Stress and depression chase you constantly trying to brood over your life in a form of exams, tests, distorted schedules, etc. However, regardless of how hard a hit of depression might be, you have to understand that the worst thing that you can do when feeling stressed is to resist acknowledging it. Unfortunately, even nowadays, lots of people think feeling stressed is somehow shameful and not all right. Well, the truth is that mental health matters not less than our physical health. Please do what you can to prevent it, but do not feel ashamed to contact any of the services on the list provided above. Do not tolerate stress and always reach out when you feel like you could use a bit of help.

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