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How to deal with stress and anxiety in college

Sanjay 0


Stress is a feeling caused by an external trigger that makes us frustrated, such as work, academics, and physical pain, while Anxiety is a feeling caused by excessive worry even in the absence of stressors and is characterized by feeling uneasy and worrisome.

College students face a risk of developing stress and anxiety. The constant pressure to excel academically, build connections and transition into life can take a toll on their well-being. If students fail to manage these challenges, they may experience burnout deterioration in both physical health well as a decline in motivation.

This article aims to provide college students with helpful information on how to deal with stress and anxiety by first understanding the causes, symptoms, and triggers of stress, and finally how to cope and survive with stress and anxiety as a college student.

Understanding Stress and Anxiety in College

To understand stress and anxiety, we have to first be aware of what triggers it and how its symptoms manifest in college students.

Common causes and triggers of anxiety and stress

Stress and anxiety are common among college students because they are exposed to triggers such as increased responsibility, poor time management, inadequate sleep, lack of support, and the uncertainty of their future careers. Let’s discuss these triggers.

  1. Poor time management skills: When students manage their time poorly, they fall behind in academics and have inadequate time to socialize, which increases the risk of developing stress
  2. Increased responsibility: First year college students may be overwhelmed by the increased responsibilities since there is no one to follow up on them. They are responsible for their health, meals, finances, and academic performance. This may lead to stress.
  3. The uncertain nature of their future career: Final year college students may experience anxiety as they prepare to transition to the professional parts of their career. There are few employment opportunities yet the number of graduates keeps increasing.
  4. Inadequate sleep: Students who have inadequate sleep, typically less than 7 hours, experience high blood pressure and increased heart rate. These side effects increase the risks of stress.
  5. Inadequate Support: There aren’t enough support programs to take care of college student’s well-being and most college students aren’t aware of the few put in place to support them. With inadequate support structures for students to get help, stress builds up.

Symptoms of stress

College students have a desire to succeed in their endeavors without being a burden to their parents. This desire may hinder them from communicating their problems, making it difficult to know their struggles. Some of the symptoms of a stressed college student include:

  • Mood swings.
  • Fatigue.
  • Decline in grades.
  • Negative attitude.
  • Withdrawal from friends and family.
  • Change in eating habits.

How To Deal with Stress and Anxiety as a College Student?

College students need stress coping mechanisms and strategies to have a social life, academic success, part time job, and a healthy mental state. Some of the most effective strategies for college students to employ include:

  •          Maintaining a consistent routine: You can achieve and maintain a consistent routine by scheduling up a consistent sleep and wake up time, eating at least three meals a day, maintaining a consistent workout routine, and writing your accomplishments. Also, scheduling a consistent routine for your part time work, such as writing articles and offering tutoring services on various platforms like homework market can help to deal with stress and anxiety.

  • Managing your nutrition and diet: Eating a balanced diet improves your emotional health, reducing the effects of stress and anxiety.
  • Identify your trigger: Identifying your anxiety triggers such as heavy course load, homesickness, and inadequate friends, among others, you can develop a strategy to overcome them
  • Maintaining your social life: Socializing with your friends and family members reduces the effects of stress and anxiety. College students can maintain communication with their family members and loved ones while in college by using video calls and chat messages offered by various companies such as Apple, WhatsApp, and Facebook, among others.
  • Use Audio/Video Tools: Students can utilize video calls, chat messages, and voice calls to get in touch with their loved ones.
  • Contact a mental health professional: Mental health professionals can assist students to overcome stress and anxiety by coaching them through their worries and experiences.
  • Set realistic goals and expectations: Setting simple, manageable, achievable, and realistic goals reduce your burden. It prevents you from spreading yourself thin and getting worked up when things don’t go as planned.
  • Create an exercise routine: Regular and consistent exercise routines boost your mood, decreases stress levels, and maintains your physical health. Following a consistent routine will maintain your mental health.

Success stories

Simone Biles faced a lot of anxiety and pressure while attending the university of the people as a part-time college student and an elite athlete. She managed to overcome stress and anxiety by getting in the right mental state when warming up for sports. She achieved success through this because she was an athlete and was comfortable warming up since she was used to it from an early age.

Ben Platt frequently struggled with stress and anxiety during most of his college years. He found a coping mechanism in stage performance. Through acting he managed to reduce and manage his anxiety and stress successfully.

Surviving University with Anxiety

  • Balancing academic and social life: Balancing your social life and academic life will boost your mood, improve your mental state, and enhance your self-esteem. You can achieve this balance by:

  • Stay organized, with a to do list: By creating and regularly updating a to do list you can effectively manage your tasks well as social commitments. Utilize apps designed specifically for organizing your coursework and social engagements.
  • Joining a Club: There are various social and academic clubs to join in college. College students can improve the quality of their social life by joining the various social events organized by these clubs.
  • Effectively managing your time: Effectively managing your time allows you to accomplish most if not all your tasks on a daily basis. This reduces the chances of falling behind in classwork, which reduces anxiety.
  • Focus on the present: Focusing your thoughts on the present allows you to accomplish assignments, projects, and enjoy precious moments without worrying about the future which you have no control over. It makes you more productive.


As a college student you can manage and deal with stress through maintaining a regular workout session, healthy diet, meditating, identifying your stress triggers, and maintaining a social life among others.

Improving support structures in colleges and creating awareness of stress and anxiety can improve the well-being of students.

What methods would you employ to create awareness of stress and anxiety among college students? Share some details with us in the comments.

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