by Jessica Newlin
I could go through the whole psychology of sleep and talk about how you need it for your body to recharge*. College is all about knowing when to stay up all night and knowing when to sleep all day (and also learning. College is about that, too! :)). If you have homework due or if you're studying for a test the next day, stay up. Yeah, you're probably going to hate your life the next day, but drink coffee, have a Monster and get back on the college bandwagon.
The Never-Ending Circle
When people ask me how I am the answer is always tired. Why? I mean, do we really do that much to act so exhausted? The thing is, if we aren't in class, we are probably doing homework, and if we aren't doing either of those things, we're probably stressing about them. When I'm hanging out with my friends, all I seem to think about are all the things I should be doing; all the things I have to do in the morning or that night; all the people I should email concerning College World articles, possible jobs or new loans; all the homework assignments I have that aren't getting done. Normally what I do is go over everything I have to do in my mind and then decide to take a nap because I'm overwhelmed by everything. (Also, naps are awesome).
The college environment is stressful when you live on campus. You are there for school, but also need a positive social life. Your social life itself can be tiring. If you're a partier, you're probably up late at night, which cuts into your sleep time and may cause you to sleep through your morning class. When you miss your morning class, you become stressed that you missed your morning class. Stress plays a huge factor in hour tired you are. As a college student, my stress/anxiety levels are always at a peak, which is exactly why I'm always tired. And normally, I'm so tired that I take a nap during the day, which makes me stay up later at night.
I can't tell you it gets easier. In fact, as you progress through your years at AC, it will probably only get more stressful. It isn't like working in an office 9a - 5p, where when you leave you're done and you don't have to do anything til the next morning. If you live on campus, the only time you stop is when you sleep -- IF you sleep!
There are only a couple things that help me postpone the stress. Postpone, yes, because there's no true way to get rid of stress. Stress is a bodily reaction to something out mind creates. It's hard to train your mind to change its ways.
So while you're trying to figure out how to change the way your brain things, you'll probably stress about the way your brain things. Personally, my brain does overtime on the daily. It's always thinking about 15 different scenarios to one problem that may not even exist, but I think it could possible exist. Even acknowledging that my brain does this stresses me out. Maybe your parents are stressing you out, or school, or your coach, or work, or your roommate...
Here are a couple of things you can do:
- Shut everyone out: It may seem cold, but seriously: sometimes you need to not check your phone or email and not be around people. Sometimes I feel like finding a corner and sitting in it. In college, it's very easy to be surrounded by people and sometimes it's hard to get away from everyone, but seriously -- you need to.
- Music: For some reason, music always helps, whether you're in a positive or negative mood -- somehow, Pandora always knows what you need to hear. Whether you're going through a breakup, a recent death or having an absolutely amazing, bubbly day.
- Find a (positive!) stress reliever: For a lot of people, it's exercise. Take your anger and frustrations out on those weights, buddy. Maybe it's singing, or church. The result will relieve stress. For me, it's writing, not necessarily about anything in particular or in any form of correct grammar, but writing about how I feel.
I told my roommate today maybe college wasn't for me. I know that's a lie; I get bored if I don't have homework to do for too long. Sometimes we do get stressed enough os ay "screw this!" That's normally when I don't turn in a homework assignment or don't show up for class in order to spend time doing things I know won't stress me out.
Hitting things, yelling, crying and missing class = negative things that can release stress. Stay away from those; they can get you into trouble fast.
It's true that having a positive mindset allows you to accomplish more things and follow through with them correctly.
I hope you're successful in relieving your stress this semester and not letting it get the best of you... because we're all here to learn and have a positive view of college when we leave.
*In case you're interested, here is some information on why you need sleep!