How to Manage Your Stress This Semester

The fall semester is well underway, but you’ve still got plenty of time to make stress management a priority. By planning ahead, managing your bank account, and following a few other best practices, you’ll reduce your school-related anxiety and have a much easier time focusing on your studies.

Stay Organized and Stay Ahead

Falling behind on deadlines has a snowball effect in terms of stress. Catching up on late work gives you less time to get ahead on your next assignment. If you’re behind on deadlines, you may not have any time to polish your assignments and deliver the best work possible.
This is a hard cycle to break, so try to stay on top of your schedule this semester. Treat your time like your money: Budget it carefully, and aim to strike a healthy balance between treating yourself, taking breaks and socializing, and committing to your work as a student.

Manage Your College Expenses

College is expensive, and financial woes on top of a loaded semester can make it even harder to stay focused on class work and to stay positive. Follow these tips to get a handle on your school expenses and keep your academic goals a priority:

Rent or buy discounted textbooks: Textbooks will leave a major dent in your semester budget. You can cut these costs by up to 90 percent if you shop around for new and used options outside of the campus bookstore. Renting is another option. You can also sell your books when you’re finished with them to get some of your money back.

Revisit your meal plan: Use your meal plan if you have one. If you prefer to cook on your own, consider dropping the meal plan to minimize your expenses.

Tap into all sources for financial aid:
The FAFSA will connect you with free grants and other types of federal financial aid to cover your academic costs. Check with your school’s financial aid department to see if any institutional grants, loans, or work-study programs are available to help you balance your checkbook this semester.

Look at all your housing options: Moving back home for the semester or moving off campus with a few roommates can greatly reduce your monthly expenses.

Break Things Down and Keep a Positive Outlook

Be deliberate and make stress management a goal this semester. No matter how tough the semester gets, remember to keep things in perspective. These few months are just a slice of your life as a student, and if you take things day by day or even hour by hour, you absolutely will succeed.

If you’re struggling with classwork or feeling negative, reach out to other students who have prioritized their courses and their personal well-being. Forming a study group can help you get through tough subjects, and surrounding yourself with positive people will melt away your stress.

If you find yourself feeling anxious this semester, take a breath and remember that you can do it! Create a schedule and stick to it, keep on top of your personal finances, and keep a positive outlook. Before you know it, you’ll have another successful semester behind you.

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