Dealing with first semester STRESS

By Melissa Mariani
September 18, 2008

Did you ever hear people say college is the best time of your life? Well, not when you’re completely stressed out!

Here are some signs you are stressing to the limit. Frequent mood swings, being very impatient, unable to sleep at night, having a change in eating patterns, recurring headaches, recurring colds and having a short temper are tell-tale signs listed in the lifestyles guide for health and well-being.

Adjusting to a new kind of lifestyle whether you’re a freshman or a graduating senior can fill your days with doubt and confusion. But while you are still in college, the first semester of every school year just seems to be the worst!

Coming from summer and transitioning straight to the books can be an extremely stressful time. I’ve compiled some tips from my own experiences to help Cabrini students lighten the burden of a new semester.

I remember being a freshman and being so overwhelmed with school, I can just imagine how stressed the seniors are this year. Trying to figure out your major and your career with little time can be hard. The fact is we all have our own lives with issues that make us stressed. How you handle it is up to you.

When I was sitting in my first class, I could just tell which students where stressing already about assignments. Students were impatient and busily taking notes about deadlines. This was just the first day and they were clearly already stressing. I just wanted to yell, “RELAX!”

Handling first semester stress is hard for everyone because we all want to be able to handle the work load, have a social life and be independent. Now as a sophomore, having deadlines and assignments in my head can really build up, causing me to stress out. The pressure we have from teachers, other students and our parents are factors.

The first semester is always nerve racking because you’re getting to know your new teachers, having a whole new schedule and trying to keep up with everything else going on in your life. Worrying about taking the right classes, buying all the expensive books and catching up on lost time with your friends from the summer adds to it.

Well, there is some hope for the stressed out students. Some good ways to handle all the stress is having a good balance of everything. Time management is key to a successful school year. Helpful ideas are to make a daily schedule that includes time for classes, coursework, studying, meals, exercising and your job, so you don’t forget anything. Make sure you actually have enough time for all of your plans, and prioritize what is more important for that day. And if you don’t have time, it is okay to say “No.”

If you’re not the agenda type, I find socializing with positive people and friends is actually one of the best ways to de-stress yourself. Just being around my friends helps me get my mind off all the assignments and work.

Being open about hard classes you have is 10 times better than keeping it to yourself. I will even call my friends randomly during the day to just vent about all the work I have to do. Chances are, they vent in return and we both end up feeling better about things, just knowing others are in the same boat.

It’s so easy to just get caught up in all your stress, but the best way to de-stress is not to take everything too seriously and to just make time to relax. Distracting your mind works well, like buying a new book or movie, I would always just take a walk around campus to clear my head when I find myself overwhelmed. And let’s not forget there’s always the Cabrini shuttle to get away for a little.

Giving your mind time to chill-out will help you have more tolerance for stress. Take advantage of the gym, sports and upcoming events around the area and get the right amount of sleep.

Some stress can get very serious, for more information you can check out pamphlets outside the nurse’s office to learn more on how to deal.

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Melissa Mariani

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