Let’s get it all out on the table when it comes to college—it’s hard, it’s time consuming, and it’s stressful. As someone who struggles with an anxiety disorder, I can confidently say that balancing mental health with school is no easy feat. There are some semesters that have been easier than others, but over all I found that how I approach my anxiety and my school work would need attention in order for me to be successful. Here are some tips that I have found that work:
1. Make designated study time each day
For me, my anxiety really defines how I approach my day. I have learned over the years the importance of structure in my life. I need to have a plan for each day and stick to it. Something that has helped my anxiety when it comes to my coursework is having a set time to study each day. I have long breaks in-between my classes every day. I use that time to go to the library and knock out a paper or a study guide for an exam. That way when I get home I have more time to spend with family, and I can look at my planner and already have some stuff checked off.
2. Have an accountability partner or a go-to person when you’re stressed
An accountability partner is someone who holds you accountable for your actions. But they also can act as someone who you can go to when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It’s so important for me to have someone to check in on me once a week and make sure I am keeping up on my school work, and also keeping my mental health in check. I didn’t get an accountability partner until this semester, and believe me I have noticed a difference in how I approach school. Anxiety causes an issue with how I keep up on my homework. A lot of times I need that person to remind me that pushing through is worth it. If school gets to be too much, as it does from time to time, I can just text her and say, “Hey I’m stressed right now, talk me through it” and she does. It’s so good to have someone like that on hand.
3. Make sure you have time for yourself
Balancing school, a part-time job, and anxiety is not easy. When I’m busy, I am overwhelmed. When I am overwhelmed, I am more prone to anxiety attacks. Your time in college is hard work. You’re expected to do well in class, maintain a job, find internships, sleep well, eat right, and socialize all on a healthy and balanced schedule. That’s not an easy task. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed. I have found that when I take a step back and find some time to do things that I enjoy doing, like maintaining my blog, or watching an episode of my favorite show, I am much less stressed and more attentive to the work I need to do later.
In the end, college really is our friend when it comes to jump starting our careers. But, finding the end is a process and we can all use tips and tricks to get us there.