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A young person with long brown hair is sitting at a desk, looking at a laptop. They have their head in their hands and look exasperated.

Stressing About the Future? Read This.

coping skills mental health stress Mar 14, 2023

Written by a CSUCI undergraduate student.

Now being a college student who is about to graduate, the one thing that never changed for me is learning how to manage my stress. During my high school years, it was a constant battle for me to understand how to accept the fact that I was stressed because there was a stereotype among my classmates that being stressed was simply uncalled for because we’re in the “easy part” of our lives… We shouldn’t be stressed yet because we haven’t experienced college stress. 

Being a confused teen uncertain what was to await her in the future, this was difficult to hear and made my coping skills unmanageable. I put unrealistic standards on myself and the pressure of trying to be a perfect high school graduate and then trying to become a perfect college student completely fogged my ability to just live in the present and be happy with where I was in the moment. I think many adults often forget how much pressure is put on high school students to make their futures “perfect” in all sorts of aspects, and most of them fail to realize that even as we grow into college students, sometimes we still don’t know what we’re doing with our lives, and that is completely okay. 

Life is about taking one step at a time and there’s not a required age where you need to have your life fully written out, knowing every step you’re going to take. When I fully acknowledged this statement and made peace with it, managing stress about the future and life in general became a lot simpler to deal with. 

Here are some of the many ways I manage the stress and pressure relating to school, my job, family matters, and life in general:

  • Get some sun!! Sitting in the warm sun always seems to boost my mood and make me feel at peace.
  • Write out what you are feeling or going through. When you acknowledge how you are feeling and address the elephant in the room, you allow yourself the ability to be heard and seen by your own eyes. This will allow the healing process to begin and help you to take some time to mend whatever negativity you may be feeling in the moment.
  • DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY! Whatever activity makes you happy, prioritize the activity. Whether that be listening to music, baking, taking walks, or being with friends, never lose sight of the feeling those activities make you feel. Happiness is a feeling that will never go out of style.
  • Take care of yourself. This may be easier said than done, but it is vital to keep your body healthy by getting enough sleep, drinking lots of water, and keeping up with your nutrition. 

Remember, stress can vary in different levels of intensity and it’s important you evaluate how you are feeling when going through a stressful time in your life. You will get through it, and remember, you are never alone. <3