Students Find Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress Amidst a Busy Schedule

By Jess Feldman
For Unwind magazine

The easiest way to live a stress-free life: balance.

College is typically portrayed as one big party where people are always happy and having a good time. In reality, college tends to be a roller coaster ride of both happy and stressful times that contradict that image.

When students come to college, they are encouraged to get involved. While this is beneficial, students can also become easily stressed if their schedule is too rigid. There is nothing wrong with having a busy schedule; however, students have to learn how to manage their time in order to have a better college experience.

For Daniel Katz, a junior finance and international business major with a minor in mythology, keeping a calendar is a necessity.

Katz is currently taking 19 credits, works four hours a week at the visitor center, is on the executive board for his fraternity Zeta Beta Tau, and is co-president of two organizations: Greek Life Serves that he started last spring as a student organization, and Call for Hunger, which is a national organization that has a branch here at UMD.

“I generally put stuff that I really like to do with friends on my Google calendar,” Katz said. “I always keep track of my time so when there is open space, I am aware of that. By actually having to focus in on making time for relaxing I am able to be planned and ready for what comes next.”

One way to stay relaxed and make time for yourself is by combining your interests with your obligations. Jill Freedman, a sophomore information systems and operations management and business analytics major who is also minoring in sustainability, always plans her schedule accordingly.

“I prioritize having relaxing nights because if I stay up too late then the next day for me is ruined,” Freedman said. “I volunteer to pick up trash weekly and part of the reason I chose that site is because it is outdoors. I make a point to only do things I enjoy so that even if I have a lot going on, I won’t feel stressed if I actually like it.”

Working out is also an easy way to lessen stress. Freedman works out at least five times a week by going to classes at Eppley Recreation Center or by practicing yoga at the local yoga studio, Numi Yoga.

“I use exercise as a study break because when I am in a gym class I don’t think about anything else. This balance, in addition to running outside when it is nice out, has really made me feel more grounded,” Freedman said.

The most common way to de-stress, though, is by hanging out with people who love and support you. Junior government and politics major Julie Press, who is also the president of her sorority, Alpha Xi Delta, values hanging out with friends over everything else.

“Whether it’s going out together or just sitting at home laughing, being able to just be carefree for a little definitely helps,” Press said. “I think this is why I find time management so important, because while yes I want to get everything done that needs to be, without time to enjoy myself I feel like I’d end up extremely unhappy.”

Relaxing does not take away from one’s priorities, rather it increases the interest in keeping up with those obligations. Whether it is maintaining physical balance, spending time with the people you love or simply reading a good book, there is always time to de-stress and enjoy the little things.

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