Taking a Break from College Stress

Last updated on November 15, 2017

If there’s one thing we’ve found that almost every college student has in common, it’s a high stress level. There are a few people who really have their lives together and aren’t stressing about much, but that’s pretty rare. And don’t those people make you a little nervous?

There are a lot of different stressors that students have to deal with, and everyone has their own combination of things going on, but one of the most common things that we see stressing people out is a full schedule, it’s often an overly full schedule.

You spend most of your day in class and doing homework; but you also have work . . . and friends . . . and sports . . . and the social scene . . . and your family . . . and who knows what else. It’s easy to get overloaded. What do we suggest you do about this?

Take a break!

You may be thinking that we’re making it sound a lot simpler than it is. And in a way, we are. But when it comes down to it, you just have to stop what you’re doing for a little bit and let yourself recover.

How you recover is up to you—go for a walk, take a nap, read a book, watch a movie—do whatever you want. Whatever lets your mind and your body, just relax. It’ll be worth it.

If you’re studying for a test, and all you can think about is something else, you could be overscheduled and in need of a break. Take twenty or thirty minutes off of studying and come back to it refreshed. At first, it will feel like you’re “losing” that time, and that your relaxation time is detrimental to your studying.

You’ll find, however, that it’s easier to concentrate when you’re relaxed, and your studying will be much more effective, even though there’s a little less of it.

“Okay, so I need to take a break every once in a while,” you might be thinking. “But how do I decide what to take a break from?”

Prioritizing things during college can be tough. Everything seems really important, especially academically. And there certainly are things that you shouldn’t skip out on to let your mind relax. A test, for example. Don’t skip that. But a lecture? If you know you’ll be able to get the notes, that might not be a bad idea.

Note: We rarely advocate skipping class, and we don’t suggest doing it often, but sometimes it’s just the best idea.

  • Take an hour off of writing a paper, unless it’s due in four hours, of course.
  • Cut your lunch hour short and take a quick nap.
  • Or—if you’re one of the lucky ones that’s caught up on sleep—stay up a little later to read a novel.

It’s a foreign concept to many students, but taking a break from the rush that is college life is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Give it a shot—you’ll appreciate it!