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Ten ways to get rid of stress

Stress can lead to depression in college students. Photo courtesy of

Stress can lead to depression in college students. Photo courtesy of

By Lauren Babcock

Midterms are coming up, and balancing classes in college can be difficult. Between homework, reading, papers and projects, maybe choir, practicum and finding an internship, there are an abundance of stressors, not to mention the stresses outside the classroom. Unfortunately, stress is just a part of the college experience, but here are some ways we’ve found to help relieve stress and make college life a little easier and stress-free.

1. Keep a Planner

This is absolutely number one on this list because I see too many people who choose not to use a planner. When you’re balancing about three classes a day, that’s an insane amount to assume you’ll just remember. Write things down as you are assigned them. It’s not difficult and it allows you to relax in knowing what you need to get done. This also helps you organize. There is no better feeling than crossing a task you’ve accomplished off of the list of things you need to do and watching that list get shorter.

2. Music

Close your eyes for a few minutes and relax to your favorite tune or listen to your favorite musical on repeat. Music can have a calming effect, especially when it’s soothing or classical music. If you’re down in the dumps, try listening to some upbeat songs.

3. Go for a walk or exercise

It’s scientifically proven that you feel better after a little exercise. It releases endorphins that take away pain and trigger a positive feeling in the body. It’s kind of like morphine. Head on down to the YMCA, take a walk to Bill’s, or go exploring down by the river. Maybe even hatch an egg on Pokémon Go. It may feel like a waste of time but it will give you more energy and help you focus for homework later!

4. Clean

Spend some time cleaning your room and desk area. Cleaning can be calming. Organization is key. I know I feel better when I can find everything I need. Also, when you don’t have to clear a spot at your desk, sitting down to work becomes a lot easier.

5. Call home

Whether that’s your parents or your grandparents or even a sibling or a close friend you don’t see much, get in contact with them. Sometimes you just need to be reminded that there’s a world outside of college. Odds are your family misses you. It’s hard to keep in touch but it’s refreshing to talk to them again.

6. Go off campus for a day

The weekends can be pretty boring here in Forest City. Get out of your room and drive to Clear Lake. Sit out by the water or go to Hey Good Cookies for a treat. Walk around the beautiful little town and go window-shopping. The fresh air will make you feel much better.

7. Take a bath or a nice shower

Take just a little time for yourself away from everything to clear your mind. Warm showers and baths are relaxing. What better way to do that than with some hot water and sweet smelling soap?

8. Read a book

Even if you only read for ten minutes, reading can take you out of this world and into another one. This gives you an escape from the worries of college even more than television or Netflix can.

9. Go to bed early!

A good night’s sleep will give you that break you’ve been craving while also recharging your body, even if you feel like you have WAY too much to do. Getting a good 8 hours will help your mind think and focus more later.

10. Treat yourself!

Whether it’s food or an impulse shopping spree, treat yourself. You’ve worked hard and you deserve a little extra something.


So when you’re feeling stressed with the busy day to day of college life, just pick something from this list and try it. It can’t hurt. Even by taking time to read this, you have reduced some stress. College can be difficult but you’ve got this!