No one in the world is immune to stress and for those entering the halls of America’s universities and colleges for the very first time, that stress can be overwhelming. Not only does undue stress have a negative impact on grades, but it’s also bad for the health of any first-year college student.
College is usually a life-changing event that few kids are ready for. There are many causes of stress and anxiety in college students, but listing them doesn’t help reduce the problem. In this blog, you’ll find a few tricks and tips to help your college student through that first year with manageable stress levels.
Don’t let them Give Up on Their Passions
Their days will be filled with classes and their nights filled with study groups and cramming for tests. This happens pretty much as soon as they step foot in the classroom on that first day of school. It’s easy, in the midst of all of this, to forgo the things they love in order to study more.
If they want their stress and anxiety levels to stay manageable throughout the year they can’t give up their passions. So, whether it’s writing, reading, hiking to take photos on the weekends or simply settling onto their bed to listen to music on their bluetooth radio, make sure that your freshman takes time for the things they love. You’ll be glad that you did.
Make Sure They Understand the Importance of Sleep
While it may be tempting to hit the hay at 5 am, then hop up again to attend class at 8 am, it’s not good for them physically or mentally. College students still need eight hours of sleep per night to function properly and make good grades, and that doesn’t include nodding off at their desk while studying for the big test on Friday. Getting to bed before midnight and getting up early is the best way to avoid stress and make the grades they are expected to make by you as well.
Teach Them to Eat Right
Ramen noodles, fast food, and pizza are staples in most college student’s lives, but just because that’s what they eat in the movies, doesn’t mean it’s good for your student or their stress levels. Junk food only increases energy for a little bit, then they crash, anxiety sets in and soon they’re out there looking for the same food to give them another boost. It’s easier to try and eat the right way, by adding fruits and veggies to their diet. While there is nothing wrong with fast food on occasion, it shouldn’t be anyone’s main diet of choice. Teach your college Freshman to eat the right way before they leave home to help them avoid stress burnout.
Encourage Them to Seek Out Emotional Support
Adjusting to college life can be extremely difficult. Your child is away from home for the first time and everything in their world is suddenly different. Having a good friend to vent to can go a long way towards helping them reduce anxiety and cope with all the changes. If they feel the need or their stress and anxiety are worsening, encourage them to find a trusted advisor or therapist to talk to about their feelings.
Never Let Them Operate on Overload
When taking classes, joining clubs, and possibly holding down a job to help cover college expenses, it’s easy to look around and suddenly find that they’ve overloaded themselves and are completely overwhelmed. If your student has taken on too many classes, encourage them not to be afraid to drop one and never be afraid to say no to a few extracurricular activities if the need arises.
These are just a few tips to help your college student prepare for their first year as a Freshman. Teaching them to be independent before they leave for college is only half the battle, these tips will help with the rest.