Coping with stress in college: Tips for students in the US

Being at university is a great experience but also a stressful one. Almost 53% of university students in the US reported that their stress levels increased since starting college. Besides the predictable causes like examinations, course work pressure and balancing study with other commitments, other common causes of stress include debt or financial worries and relationships.

However, not all stress is bad; a degree of stress is good for motivating you to achieve your goals. But when a stress situation goes beyond your control, it can seriously affect your mental and physical health. It can manifest itself in many ways; physical symptoms may be panic attacks, insomnia, nausea or headaches. Mental symptoms might be lack of concentration, absentmindedness, anxiety and depression. The best way to beat stress is to know the causes and learn how to deal with them. Most universities have a student welfare officer on campus, it is helpful to talk to them if you are under stress, whether it is about meeting deadlines or dealing with a financial problem. Students also have access to a free, high quality counseling service, so you can advantage of this if you need to.

If you are going through a period of unavoidable stress, it is good to talk to friends and family about how you are feeling. If the pressure of work is too much, learn to break down the things into manageable tasks, so you can tackle them one at a time. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself and avoid using alcohol and drugs as a way to deal with stress; they can affect your mood as well as your health. To reduce stress, you can use relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation. Remember, the best way to attain your goal is to work hard and think about your dreams everyday, soon you will see a positive difference in your life.

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