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7 Effective Stress Busters for College Students

by Margaret Hurst
Marketing Specialist

February 12, 2016

When you’re a college student stress can feel like it’s a part of the package—but there are healthy ways to deal with it. Keeping your stress at a low, manageable level will ensure you don’t burnout and can even improve your academic performance.

1. Exercise, eat well, and get enough sleep

These three activities are a surefire way to lower your stress. When you’re stressed out you may think that you don’t have time to exercise or get your 8 hours of sleep, but it’s important to your health that you take care of yourself. Even a few quick walks outside can make a difference.

2. Identify your stressors

An important part of managing stress is knowing what triggers stress for you. The causes of stress are different for everyone. Knowing your stressors, whether it’s public speaking, taking exams, or something else, can help you to mitigate your stress in the future.

3. Plan ahead

If you know that you have a paper due in one class and a test in another on the same day, plan ahead. Write the paper early so that you have time to study before your exam. By planning ahead (as much as possible) you can avoid stressful situations all together.

4. Don’t multitask

Did you know that multitasking actually causes you to be less efficient and effective? Multitasking has been shown to increase the production of cortisol, also know as the “stress hormone”. To avoid stress, focus on one task, class, or assignment at a time.

5. Think positive

It’s not always easy to stay positive, but it can really help your stress levels. Instead of focusing on negative thoughts like, “I didn’t study as much as I should have. I’m going to fail for sure,” try to think of each situation positively. Instead, think about all of the new material you’ve learned and remind yourself how hard you’ve been working.  

6. Assess your priorities

Sometimes you just can’t do it all, and if you try you can end up stressed out and underperforming. It’s helpful to evaluate what you need to do and prioritize. Usually there’s places where you can take a step back so that you can focus on more important priorities.

7. Dance it out

Ok, so you don’t have to dance if you don’t want to, but you should let loose and have some fun. Shifting your focus to something you enjoy for a little while can help you come back to your work with renewed energy. Don’t worry—you won’t be graded on this one!


If you ever find that your stress is reaching an unmanageable level, you should seek help.

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