It’s the beginning of the year. For first-year students and returning ones alike, it can be rough. Readjusting to classes, a job and extracurriculars after having 16 weeks off can be a struggle (all aboard the struggle bus). Now, I know what you may be thinking: “Oh, I’ve done this before — I’ll be fine.” Not to be a downer, but if it hasn’t happened by now, it probably will at some point throughout the semester. But, have no fear! Whether you’re adjusting to life at Gonzaga for the first time, for the fourth time, or get stressed as finals roll around, here are five tips to help alleviate the stress and remind you that everything will be a-OK
1.Get off campus — take a breather
You are probably doing a lot of awesome things on campus. They take up time, but that’s good! It shows you’re dedicated to something you love. But, there can be a common issue with being involved with lots of things on campus: they’re on campus. Getting off campus once and a while is great because it gives you an opportunity to leave “the bubble” and your worries behind.
2. Tea or coffee or tea
Now that it’s starting to get cold, warm anything is at a premium. And, now that we have a Starbucks on campus, I just have to wonder how many pumpkin spice lattes are sold on a daily basis. But, if that’s what makes your day that much better, go for it! One of my favorite things to do when I’m stressed is to just sit back with a nice cup of tea (or coffee) and just watch the world go by. It may sound kind of strange — just watching people and what not — but in a way it’s cathartic.
3. Remind yourself that your hobbies are still your hobbies
This kind of goes along with the first one. One of the best things about Gonzaga is how involved everyone is. You could strike up a conversation with (literally!) anyone on campus, and have a lengthy conversation about what they do on and around campus. And, not just that, but they do it with passion. I would say, for the most part, people get involved with things because they care about them and are passionate about them. When it comes to being involved, though, it may mean you have little time for other things — you know, with school work and all. So, in times of stress I would encourage you to go back to your roots. What do you do with your (possibly limited) free time? Do you like to write? Draw? Whatever it is, do it!
4. Go for that walk
Sometimes the last thing you want to do when you feel like you have the world on your shoulders is to take time out of your day to go on a walk. I mean, it’s just walking for no reason when you could be getting things done, right? Wrong! Well, sort of. You may not be very “productive” on a walk, but would you be stressing about work either? Probably not. Walking has actually been proven to bring you into a sort of meditative and reflective state, so even if it’s only for 10 minutes try going for a walk.
Yes, I really went there. One of the hardest challenges people of today face is to step away from technology. I can’t blame them, though, I start freaking out when I’m not “connected,” too. But, when we are connected, we are getting a lot of information. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter all throw boatloads of stuff at you at once. That doesn’t do much good when you’re stressing out. So, and I know it may be close to impossible, try to set aside tech for 30 minutes — it could make the world of a difference. And, you’ll always be able to check back on that selfie you took when you get back.