It is no surprise that college students are one of the most common victims of stress. Between maintaining an academic life and a social life along with daily commitments, it is hard to not cripple under the pressure of it all.
Whether you're a returning student or it's your first time on the Plains, now is a better time than any to develop healthy habits to maintain any future stressors.
1. Know your limits
Remember, no one can fully grasp how much you can handle better than you can. If you are constantly second guessing signing up for an 18-hour workload, chances are you shouldn't be doing it. There is no shame in taking fewer credit hours in a semester if that means you will have more time to focus on each class.
2. Organize your academic life
If you are not a naturally organized person, try and force yourself to be in this area of your life. Being organized gives the illusion that you have everything under control and eventually, it'll start to feel genuine.
If you're like me, I am the perfect representation of a good student-until the second week of school. I have all of my notes organized, deadlines written down and my planner filled but as time goes on and the work load piles higher, I abandon the idea of organization and just focus on trying to get by even though I know it would make my life easier.
To avoid this, take at least five minutes every day to re-access your schedule. This can be during your lunch hour or even while you're waiting for the bus. Make a list of all your project deadlines, homework assignments or even possible questions for your professors. You'll thank yourself later.
3. Enjoy the now
One of the biggest stress inducers for a college student is time and the idea that they don't have enough of it.
I have wasted countless hours worrying over my next test without even acknowledging the A I made on the last one. I worried about not being invited to the next party without even thinking about all the great people I met at the first one. I spent so much time during my sophomore year creating this image of a wiser, funnier, smarter version of myself that only existed as a junior.
I have recently realized that I had been living my life in the future, and I have been unhappy there.
So much stress can be avoided when you appreciate the small things. Don't be afraid to congratulate yourself on that A or for giving a speech and only stuttering twice or even learning how to do laundry. It is all growth, and it all means something.
4. Don't be afraid to ask for help
At Auburn, as cliche as it sounds, you are never alone. If you're struggling in a subject, there are multiple resources to turn to for help. The Miller Writing Center and Study Partners are available to students for a reason. This is college; you are meant to learn. Be honest with yourself when it's time to ask for help.
Asking for mental health help is just as important as academic.
According to the American Psychological Association, anxiety is the top presenting concern among college students followed by depression. Check in with yourself and if you notice yourself falling into uncharacteristic behavior, make an appointment with Student Counseling Services.
Appointments can be made by phone or by stopping by their office. There are no charges for individual or group counseling.
Student's can expect their first session to be focused on assessing their current situation and then planning a course of action that best benefits them.
If you don't have time to make an appointment or if it is not an emergency, SCS also offers their "Let's Talk" program. This is a free, confidential consultation where no topic is off limits.
Counseling Services also offers Animal Assisted Therapy with their trained dog, Moose. According to SCS, this kind of therapy can improve motivation for treatment while also improving social and emotional functioning.
5. Indulge in what makes you happy
Sometimes a quick pick me up is all it takes to feel better. If a call home, an hour of your favorite show or a night out with friends relieves some stress, do it. Taking some time to enjoy what you love is an important part of being healthy just as much as eating right and exercising.