The typical college lifestyle would be nothing if not for a bit of inevitable stress. The academic and social pressures of achieving family expectations as well as self-fulfillment can understandably be overwhelming at times. It is almost too easy to get so caught up in this college mindset that we put our well-being at risk. If you’re attempting to find some fun yet productive methods for maintaining your sanity, look no further. As a college student myself, I have been there. Multiple times in my undergraduate career I have felt overwhelmed to the point of having bouts of inadequacy. These are a few of the ways I have consoled in to relieve my multiple quarter-life crises.
Adult Coloring Books
Remember in grade school when you were given coloring assignments as homework? Well they are just as fun and therapeutic, if not more, as a college student as a kindergartener. The options are endless, from simple cartoon drawings to intricate patterns. The freedom to color with whatever combinations of colors you want makes it that much better! Who doesn’t love coloring?? When I say coloring is therapeutic, I really mean it. You will be so focused on coloring within the lines that you will not have even the slightest thought about all the homework and meetings you have to answer to. Should you decide to take this idea for a spin, I would highly recommend the “Unicorns are Jerks” coloring book.
Natural and Urban Exploration
A lot of the time, the stress you experience is a result of something as simple as being in the same environment long enough that it slowly becomes toxic. Whether surrounded by others or alone, most of the time you are constantly having a conversation with yourself in your head, worrying over every last responsibility and contemplating where the rest of your life is going.
All you really need to do is get away from it all—the material, the people, and your room. Everything about this college community that is cluttering your mind needs to be let go momentarily. Hike multiple trails on the outskirts of town, explore the neighboring cities and towns, or find a national park. Separate yourself from the known and focus on yourself. No, not that midterm you have next week or the group project due next month, but rather the scenery, the rate of your breathing, and self-reflection on your well-being and progress as a human being. These little adventures will give you newfound appreciation for the serenity of the undisturbed nature, will adjust your perspectives, and allow you to take things slower upon your return, easing up on yourself.
Join a Campus Organization
Wake up and eat breakfast. Go to class and eat lunch. Come home and eat dinner. Do homework and go to sleep. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. It will not take this monotonous routine long to drive you insane and tumbling down a spiral of sadness.
Take academics off your mind by partaking in some campus organization that aligns with your interests. There are tons of clubs offered at each campus, collectively appealing to a variety of interest, so you are bound to find at least one to stick with. Whether it’s intramural basketball, a dance team, or in my case, community service, you will find a group of friends with mutual interests that you can hang out with and destress from your academic career. When you cannot travel away from the college community often to relax, as many college students cannot, campus organizations not only help with professional and academic development, but are also the most convenient and exhilarating option to destressing.
We were such silly children for wanting to stay up all night when we should have cherished every minute of sleep we could get. Now in college, every second is much more crucial and sleep deprivation is extremely real. Your problems will not disappear with one power nap, but I can guarantee that you will feel much more well-rested and ready to take on the day! All-nighters are definitely not the way to go if you want to maximize quality and efficiency. Yes, I completely understand that your schedule is hectic, but you cannot tell me that you can’t find at least one spot in it that you can take a quick snooze!