5 Ways to Survive the Stress of College

College is the best of times and the worst of times. Close friends, bad food, and memories to last a lifetime. College is also a ton of work whether it is yet another essay, pages of homework, or staying up all night finishing a group assignment that you have not started until that night, the workload is more than enough to cause stress. Here are five easy and helpful tips to see next semester with gratitude instead of attitude.

Organize and Plan
Keeping everything clean and easy to find is a simple way to experience less stress. Buy a binder or folders to keep the classes separate and to have a central location to put all of the papers. It also may be worthwhile to buy a planner or to use the calendar on your phone to remind you of assignments. Find what works best for you and invest in organizing yourself. Same goes with your computer. Create folders on your computer to have a location to save to when you are working on something digital. No more putting everything in your downloads and searching for the date modified instead of the arbitrary title you named it.

Studying can be boring and monotonous at times but try different studying methods to boost your morale. The Pomodoro Technique is the one I use which is to put a timer for 25 minutes and with zero distractions, you start your work. Go at your own pace but make sure you have everything on do not disturb so nothing will tempt you to sway away from work. After the timer goes off, you have five minutes to do what ever you need to do and then set another 25 minutes to work. This allows you to be efficient with the time you are offering yourself and still have some time for cat videos.

For your own mental sanity, set aside time to work and play every day. Have a goal in mind and when that is complete, go reward yourself with doing something you love. Psychologically, a reward system to finishing work provides the great benefits and little residual damage from the labor.

Getting the heart pumping can be a great way to relieve stress when college has you down. Going for a run, lifting weights, or dancing for a period of time can help to reset your mind and body to attack the day with relentless optimism. Not to mention it regulates your sleep cycle, metabolism and energy. Would it not be great if you did not have to drink four cups of coffee throughout the day? Exercise may just be the answer you are looking for to obtain more energy for your day.



Simply breathing can make a world of difference for your mindset. Meditating every day can provide positive benefits such as an increase in happiness, self-awareness, and concentration. It also decreases stress, anxiety, and aging. “Meditation is mind without agitation,” Narasimhan says. When it comes to stress, we could all use a mind without unnecessary turbulence. Reminding yourself what your purpose is and aligning your values through breathing often can make your motivation unstoppable.

If you do not have time for simple meditation, get credit for it. Most Universities have stress management courses offered in their curriculum. The class is an easy three elective credits and truly does assist you in your college journey. Look for it under the social work category of classes.

I know this sounds a little counter-intuitive. Getting less time to do more work? Sleep holds amazing benefits that we have grown to forget. The simple method here is to be more productive, sleep more. When we lack sleep, our quality of work decreases. You may be doing a lot of work but probably not a lot of quality work. There are serious health problems with sleep deprivation such as trouble concentrating, high blood pressure, risk for diabetes, risk of heart disease, weakened immunity, and weight gain. Basically throwing all the benefits of meditation and exercise away because you are not sleeping enough. Take the time needed each night and get a full eight hours (or as close to as you can) of sleep. Tiredness is not a trophy and it is something we should not be striving for.


Do Something Creative

This one is easy. Every person has their form of art be it painting, drawing, playing an instrument, cooking, or underwater basket weaving. Setting time aside every day to mastering your craft is a fun way to relieve stress and increase overall well-being. According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, engaging in just one creative activity each day can make you more likely to feel “energetic, enthusiastic, [and] excited.” It goes on to say, “Overall, these findings support the emerging emphasis on everyday creativity as a means of cultivating positive psychological functioning.” There you go, science has now supported the idea of creating art for clear benefits. Get working and create something beautiful.

College is an adventurous odyssey filled with self-discovery and a metric ton of ramen noodles. It is a lot of seemingly unnecessary work and stress but it is all worth it in the end. Hopefully with these simple methods of stress management, college will be more of a positive experience.

Top 3 Must Watch Watched Netflix Shows

I caught you. I know your dirty little secret.  It’s okay that you’re watching Netflix instead of studying like you’re supposed to be. Hey it’s cool, I’m not judging. I, myself have procrastinated for hours with the help of Netflix. So, today I decided to share with you my top 3 most watched Netflix shows.

1. New Girl- I love Zooey Deschanel’s quirky charm so it’s natural New Girl is one of my favorite TV shows. New Girl is about a down-on-her-luck school teacher, Jessica Day, who moved in with three male strangers after she caught her boyfriend cheating on her. Each episode focuses on the growing relationship between the 4 roommates and the hilarious situations they somehow manage to get tangled in. If you love quirky and corny jokes then this is the show for you!


2.  Mad Men- Okay, I admit it…I am currently counting down the days till the season 7 premier of Mad Men on April 11th. I can’t help it, I’m addicted. Mad Men is an AMC original series about a Top New York advertising company in the 1960’s. It follows the lives of both the men and women who work in the office. This series is filled to the brim with office scandals, heartbreak, 60’s fashion and extraordinary pick up lines. If you love a good love pentagon then make sure you check this show out.


3. Sherlock- If you’re attracted to chiseled cheek bones then you will definitely love starring at Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC’s Sherlock. The modern adaption puts you side by side with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as they scramble to solve mysteries. Each episode is 2 hours long and full of clever, extremely witty and surprising endings. Be careful, you’ll get hooked. Goodbye GPA, Hellloooo Benedict.


Study Smarter for Your Next Exam

Now that classes are in full swing, midterm exams and essays are back in town, and have brought their sister Procrastination with them.  If you’re anything like me, you’re absolutely dreading your first round of exams.  Luckily though, I have been doing this whole student thing for quite awhile now, (try 16 years, YIKES!) and have perfected the art of studying.  I’m here to offer you my best studying tips and tricks to make your next exam a little less stressful.

Study Tip 1: Flashcards really do help, especially for those classes that are pure memorization (hello, medical terminology!).  Not only will the process of making your flashcards help you memorize your key terms and facts, but they’re the perfect size to keep in your backpack or purse, so you can whip them out anytime you have a few free minutes.

Study Tip 2:  Make a study schedule.  I LOVE being organized.  I look forward to buying a spiffy new academic planner at the start of each semester, and I did in fact ask for a label maker for my 16th birthday (and was gifted not one, but THREE of them).  Making a study schedule is a sure way to stay organized when preparing for your next exam.  Now, I won’t sit here and tell you that you need to start studying for your exams weeks in advance, because God knows I don’t.  Instead, give yourself five days, and study for about one to two hours each day.  Write down exactly what you plan on doing each day, whether it’s rereading a chapter of your text, or reviewing your flashcards for 45 minutes.  Here’s the hardest part… You actually have to stick to your schedule!

Study Tip 3:  Get out of your house.  I know for me, if I try to sit in my living room and study, I won’t go more than 5 minutes without getting distracted by a riveting conversation with my roommates, or the newest episode of The Real Housewives of NYC.  Grab your books and head to the library or nearest coffee shop, and just get it done.  Try to avoid bringing your laptop, because we all know Facebook will be calling your name the second you open that chemistry book.

Kill The Procrastination Beast

There is nothing quite as self defeating as procrastination.  It’s like eating an entire cake–oh so delicious in the moment but hello regretsville ten minutes later when you switch from sweatpants to skinny jeans.  And the worst part is, when you look back on your time spent procrastinating, you didn’t even get to enjoy it!  Your time was tainted by the stress of what you actually needed to do.  Kill the beast.  Here’s how.

A beefed-up, well organized bookmarks bar can do wonders to crush procrastination.  One of my favorite websites, catches me  in a loop every time I go there.  I’ll click on link after link, each article more relevant and interesting than the next!  (they’re not of course, but as my procrastination desperation grows, discretion goes out the window).  Make yourself a bookmarks folder that says: interesting articles.  It’s so simple, but has multiple advantages: First, it de-clutters the tabs in your browser.  Im sure I’m not alone when I say that it’s annoying as hell to have tons of tabs open that aren’t remotely related to your current task, but nonetheless have to stay open for future reference.  If need be, make another bookmark folder: school.  That way when you switch from Biology to Chemistry homework, you can close out your tabs and have a clutter-free workspace, without worrying that you’re losing track of your other assignment in the process.

Second, it takes away your ability to rationalize your distraction.  If you can’t say, “Oh, I HAVE to read this now or I’ll forget to read it later,” the procrastination monster shuts up just long enough for you to get back to work.

Incentivize Getting Out of Bed
Getting an early start to the day has been SO critical to my success as a student, but procrastinating the inevitable–getting out of bed–has to be in a top 5 list of hardest habits to break.    My solution is incentivizing the wake up with something awesome.  That something used to be a cigarette when I smoked, but lately it’s a handful of Reese’s pieces or a sugary cappuccino and the great thing is, I just woke up so I’m not really hungry.  I can eat a handful and be satisfied, but now my butt’s out of bed and the hardest part is done!  Even if it takes some time to properly wake up, you can still get relatively easy stuff done that would eat up time later, like responding to emails or reading for a class you enjoy.

There’s an App for That
Stay Focused, an app for Google Chrome, blocks distracting websites for a set amount of time.  I love the blurb on their site :

“You sit down at the computer, and you swear you’ll be productive. Next thing you know, it’s twelve hours later. You’ve checked your email, updated your Facebook status, browsed the trending topics on Twitter, read your RSS feeds, looked up your favorite band on Wikipedia, vanity googled yourself, cyber-stalked your ex, looked at all your high-school crushes’ Facebook photos, watered your plants on Farmville, and lost a week’s pay playing online poker.  The one thing you haven’t done is WORK.”

Besides reminding you how embarrassing your old Farmville habit was (how did I ever justify taking 30 minutes to water my cabbage???) this app serves a dual purpose: it keeps you away from your usual procrastination haunts and trains you to stay focused for extended periods on a given task, a MUST for working in an office later.  Your employer might block Facebook and Twitter, but odds are you have plenty of other procrastination sites that kill your productivity.  Learn now to stay focused and make it easier for yourself down the road.  This app single-handedly cured me of a Facebook addiction that got out of control for a couple of weeks.  Get it for free here.

Now stop reading this blog and get back to work.


I’m reading Hamlet