6 Ways To Handle Stress In College

As a college student, stress is something you simply can’t avoid. Multiple essays, tests, and classes become mentally draining, leading to feeling stressed out. Furthermore, students who are athletes or have jobs might even struggle more trying to manage it all.

After a long day of class, practice, and/or work, the last thing anyone wants to do is homework. Getting behind in homework leads to more stress. Knowing how and when to handle these difficult situations in life will limit stress. With that in mind, here are six ways stress can be reduced for any college student.

1. Figure out what’s stressing you out the most

Feeling bombarded with assignments, classes, and work can be super stressful. Try this approach to reducing your stress: write everything down that is stressing you out.

What is the biggest issue? Ever hear of a slippery slope? One problem without a solution will start you sliding down the slope, and every problem after gets steeper and steeper. It is easy to become overwhelmed! It can help to identify the most critical problem and work from there.

2. Have good time management

Time management is a useful skill not just in college but in life. Managing your time effectively will help you control your stress. Just “winging it” is not time management. Try scheduling blocks of time to do coursework; a calendar is the best way to stay organized. You could do this by creating a list of what needs to be done, setting reminders on your phone, or having dedicated time each day to study.

When you’re done with something, crossing out an assignment is very rewarding. Just working for 15 minutes at a time on an assignment is enough to make you feel immensely better about your workload. This is great for students who don’t want to do homework late at night, after work, or practice.

3. Meditation is helpful

There is a stigma surrounding meditation, but it is among the best ways to help cope with stress relief. Meditating ten to twenty minutes a day has been shown to relieve massive amounts of stress. Meditation can teach you to focus, control your impulses, and increase self-awareness. Research meditation methods and find the one that works for you.

4. Hang out with friends or family

If you feel completely wiped out from school, take a break and enjoy time with friends and/or family. Spending time with people you care about is great for reducing stress and giving you a better outlook on life and school.

The best thing about friends and family is that you can talk to them about difficult situations; they help cheer you up, motivate you to finish your work, and assist you with areas you are struggling with.

5. Get the right amount of sleep

Sleep is a necessary activity if you want to be successful in college. Not getting enough rest weakens your ability to handle difficult situations. As a result, sleep deprivation leads to lower focus and awareness, which is not good when doing homework.

Getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night helps to maintain a healthy brain. Benefits include: thinking more clearly, better memory, better decision making, and decreased negative thinking. All of these benefits help you diminish stress.

6. Exercising can help

Exercising is another way to relieve stress. It releases endorphins, a chemical that makes you feel good. When you feel good, your confidence goes up and allows you to handle stressful situations. A bonus to exercising is it will improve your quality of sleep.


Don’t let stress control your life. Knowing how to deal with stress in college will help you immensely in the workplace. Try at least one, and you will see the difference. For more helpful college tips visit Iowa Wesleyan’s college blog at www.iw.edu.