Stress Management for College Students
People born after 1997, typically called Generation Z, are more stressed than previous generations. That’s a concern for colleges and universities, as older members of Generation Z have entered their college years and continue to struggle with stress management.
Finding ways to improve stress management for college students has become a priority at universities across the country. That’s because of surveys like the one published in The Economist. It found Generation Z students listed “anxiety and depression,” along with “bullying,” as bigger problems for their generation than alcohol or drug use. They are less hedonistic and better behaved than their parents’ generations, but also lonelier and more worried about their grades. The recent American Psychological Association annual “Stress in America” survey found that Generation Z reported the worst mental health of any generation.
How TUW Fosters Stress Management For College Students
As the first Generation Z students make their way to college, schools must find ways to support better stress management. Touro University Worldwide combats student stress by practicing a “student-centered university” approach. The Student Success Center offers programs and support designed to give students the best chance of success at college.
TUW created the Student Success Center to meet the individual needs of each student as they progress through their degree programs. Services include:
- Student orientation
- Educational advising
- Career services
- Disability services
Advisors work one-on-one with students to help them develop a plan to meet their educational and career goals. Part of this program involves advisors making regular contact with online students and monitoring their progress to ensure they are taking the steps to meet those goals.
Advisors also help students with issues such as changing class schedules. The idea is to let students know that an advisor is always there to help them navigate college administrative tasks as well as help them plan for their future after graduation.
All these programs are designed to make the college experience better for students – and reduce their stress.
Stress Management for College Students: Tips From Experts
Effective stress management can be a challenge for anyone but may be even more so for first-time college students. However, the tips in the following sections can help. They are taken from experience working with students at TUW, as well as medical and psychological experts.
Eat Well, Exercise
Doctors have been telling you this all your life. It’s still true – maybe more so at this point in your life than ever. A healthy diet that mixes lean protein and plenty of fruits and vegetables will make you feel better. Don’t make a habit of late-night pizza, chicken wings, or chips. Also, regular exercise can help your body release stress in a positive way.
Have a Healthy Outlet
In addition to exercise, another healthy way to release stress is through a hobby such as drawing, playing music, volunteering in your community, gardening, and playing sports. These activities can focus your mind on something other than schoolwork or whatever else is causing you stress.
Create A Plan
TUW advisors can help you develop a plan. By working with an advisor to establish academic and career goals, you can set up daily schedules to help you meet milestones on your way to achieving those goals. Organization and time management can help you better manage stress.
This goes together with planning and organization. It’s normal to want to put off tasks that you dread. But leaving all the hard tasks until the last minute often leads to poorer work. Do the hard tasks early and get them behind you.
Friends and Family
Friendship is one of the best ways to manage stress. The Mayo Clinic puts it simply: “Good friends are good for your health.” The clinic reports that reduced stress is one of the major benefits of friendship. Others include:
- Increasing a sense of belonging and purpose
- Boosting happiness
- Improving self-confidence and self-worth
- Helping you better cope with trauma
- Encouraging you to avoid bad habits such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise
Get Regular Sleep
Pulling an all-nighter is a rite of passage for college students, but it’s not something you want to do regularly. The Cleveland Clinic points out the need for solid sleep and how it can reduce stress. They suggest going to bed at the same time every night, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and making sure your room is dark and quiet.
Stress management is tough for college students. Members of Generation Z find it more difficult than others. But through support programs such as the TUW Student Success Center and practicing good habits, you can develop stronger stress management skills.