Unexpected Stress: Tips & Tricks

Living the life of a college student can get really hectic really fast classes, studying, meetings, clubs, mental & physical health, chores, etc. can pile up crazy quick if you don’t efficiently manage your time. I do my best to set time aside for everything I do on the daily, but because life is unpredictable things will most likely not go as originally planned. Term papers will get pushed back for a rescheduled meeting, then pushed back again because you haven’t done laundry in a month and don’t have pants to wear tomorrow, and next thing you know, you’re up until 5 am stressing to submit your paper by 7 am. Although I can’t help with the curve-balls life will throw at you, I can help lessen the stress you feel while cramming to finish the goals you’ve set yourself.


  1. Calming music – Yes, your favorite playlist has helped you through your toughest study sessions, but a change in genre can work wonders on your brain in a frantic state. Spotify has awesome playlists already created for studying and deep focus. All you have to do is press play! (And hey, you might discover your new favorite band too!)
  2. Color code – If you’re creating a study guide or re-writing notes, break out your colored pencils and find a system that works for you. Color coding notes triggers your brain so certain things stand out more than others. Because you’ve written in something other than the 1 back pen that sits at the bottom of your backpack, your brain is more likely to register and remember the information.
  3. Steady your breathing and posture – wherever your favorite study spot is, take a quick sec to press your shoulders back and sit up straight. Control your breathing to a 3:2 inhale-to-exhale pattern. Keeping your breaths in you nose and audible allows oxygen to your brain. Return to working and make sure to continue the breathing pattern until it becomes natural.
  4. Don’t use your phone – This can seem like the hardest thing to do, but it helps you become so much more productive. The Pocket Points app helps you earn reward points you can use on food and websites, on and off campus, if you open the app before locking your phone while in class/studying. If you’re stressing for a deadline, creeping on someone’s Instagram is not going to help you relax because before you know it, you’ve moved onto Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat. Forty-five minutes later, you realize with all that time you’ve spent scrolling, you’d be finished with your work! Do yourself a favor and leave your phone in your dorm room.

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