How to Cope with College Anxiety
College is a very important part of a person’s life. The transition from being a teenager to an adult is fraught with countless responsibilities that can overwhelm students to the point of anxiety. Most students go through periods of anxiety, and it may feel like it will never end. However, if this anxiety is managed properly, you can bounce back from it and survive.
Go to a coffee shop and sit with a friend or call someone in your family and let them know you are feeling overwhelmed by work. The act of talking it out may help ease your nerves as maybe you just needed to release that frustration, and having a trusted member of your life listen to you may calm you. But also, the more you let people in your life know, the more they are willing to help you in lessening the stress. They may give you advice or ideas that could help you, and can even schedule regular calls or meets to keep up with how you’re doing.
Oftentimes, college anxiety is the result of an overwhelming amount of work that needs to be done, as many students have to balance school, work, and their personal/social life in ways that may seem impossible. The first in at least identifying specific sources of anxiety is to list out everything that you need to do.
Get out a sheet of paper and make sections for school, work, friends, and anything else that you need to focus on (research work, etc). Then, under each column, write everything that you need to do. Under school, write each subject down and any specific work you need to do. For example: BIOLOGY – read chapter 2, complete online assignment, attend office hours tomorrow 2 pm. Write as much as you can remember, but keep the timeframe short—if things haven’t been assigned yet, or you don’t need to start working on it yet, don’t worry about it for now.
Prioritize everything on your list in terms of importance, amount of time it will take to complete, and by due date, and input these specific action items on a schedule. Be smart about scheduling everything and remember to give yourself more time than you anticipate needing to make sure you don’t fall behind. So, taking the above example, if you need to read chapter 2 in three days, consider breaking up the chapter into thirds and spending an hour everyday to finish it. If the online assignment is due tomorrow at midnight and it will take you 2 hours to finish it, assign it to either today or tomorrow, depending on which day is better. If you have an event you have to attend tomorrow with friends, make a block of time for it and ensure that your work is scheduled properly around it.
Having a set idea for how you’re going to complete your work will help appease your anxiety greatly as it reduces the uncertainty around how you’re going to get it all done.
Oftentimes, simply letting your professor or manager know that you have a large amount of work to do may do the trick. They may extend deadlines or give you knowledge about resources that would help you finish everything you need to do. Just be honest with them and come in with a plan on how you can finish all that you need to, and they will likely help you out in easing your strain.