Surviving stress as a college student

Grace Amsden
Managing Editor

Within the college setting, it can sometimes feel inevitable to avoid stress and put it into the backroom files of the brain to save for later.

Stress is “a physical, mental or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension” according to It can account for an elevated heart rate, irritable behavior, tension headaches and an overall feeling of uneasiness. Besides that, there are pages upon pages of other stress symptoms listed on health websites.

I’ve suffered from anxiety throughout my life. They say that every person in life has a weakness: this is mine, but I’ve learned to deal with it and accept it and push through it.

College has been such a positive experience for me so far. Yes, college institutions are quite demanding, considering the high level classes and professors with high expectations. College results in a whole new life for students as they must make adjustments to their routine: what time to go to bed, which class to focus on first for homework, learning to successfully manage classes with a job or still making time to engage in recreational or social activities.

The greatest piece of advice I’d give to a college student who’s frequently stressed out with college is to workout, if not already. Exercise is a gift for entire body. There’s plenty of different exercise choices whether it’s swimming, jogging, taking a zumba or dance class, walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bicycle – it can actually be fun. I go to the YMCA everyday and am in awe of all the physical and mental benefits.

Another thing I’d suggest is to keep a journal specifically for writing about anxieties. Quotes of encouragement can be a positive thing, too. This can all be incorporated into a scrapbook or art journal.

Listening to music can be a wonderful option for stress, too. I listen to what makes me truly happy, which is Disney music, broadway music or instrumental pieces. Listening to music is simple but can be very relaxing and powerful. Listening to music can virtually take place anywhere inside or outside of school: that is the beauty of technology.

Another technique that’s beneficial to help manage college stress is to take time to be outdoors. What’s nice about the Pierce College Puyallup campus is that Bradley Lake Park is right next door, providing a trail to walk on, park benches, a large open field, picnic areas and fishing opportunities. Another great area is the Orting Trail, which advances for many miles. Sometimes, a day trip to the mountain can also help to cleanse the mind.

The main thing I’ve learned throughout my bout with anxiety is that stressing doesn’t change anything, so why stress out about homework? Why stress out about tests?  Living life without stress is much better and therefore results in a more positive experience at college, which is supposed to be a positive and life changing experience, anyhow.

Instead of stressing over the so-called stressful aspects of college, such as that dreaded final exam, taking the alternative approach and living by the Bob Marley lifestyle of “Don’t Worry, be Happy” is the best one, in my opinion.

Though stress can sneak up on college students like an evil monster in the night, there are plenty of ways to combat it.

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost

Grace Amsden
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Surviving stress as a college student

by Grace Amsden time to read: 2 min