Anybody who has ever been through an intense academic experience like college will be able to tell you that, although it can be some of the best years of your life, it can also be some of the most stressful and difficult if you are not equipped with ways to handle the common pressures and anxieties. Enjoying a fulfilled, healthy life, both physically and emotionally, during college is a vital part of being successfully in your studies in the long run. Though at the most stressful of times it might feel like there is nothing that can help, there are some simple and achievable ways to help you avoid becoming overwhelmed. Take a look through our top tips on how that art of writing can actually help students to be less stressed and enjoy a healthy college life.
Keep A Journal
Although the majority of college subjects require a large amount of essay writing and other types of assignments, it is important that your relationship with writing doesn’t become completely educational and ‘professional’ during college. Even if you don’t feel like you are in the mood to write a journal entry, push yourself to write a small passage every day. Being able to write about something personal rather than regurgitating the latest textbook or discussing the historical period you are studying helps your mind to stay creative and connected with your social and personal life alongside your academic life.
As well as being an exercise in staying connected, writing a journal also creates a sort of milestone marker for your college life in which you can look back to three months ago, when perhaps you were the most stressed, and compare the entries to the ones you are making now to see how much progress you have made, even if you don’t think that you have.
Get Your Feelings Out On The Page
It is never healthy, for your body or your mind, to keep feelings of sadness, frustration, stress or anger within yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to another person about your feelings, then go ahead and write them down on a page of paper. You will be surprised at just how therapeutic verbalizing, even if only in writing, your fears and worries can be. It is a form of psychological relief to get those feelings out of your head and on to something else.
You don’t have to keep the piece of paper. You can throw it away immediately, but physically writing down your frustrations can sometimes help you to see them in a different light and is one of the most effective writing techniques for modern professionals.
Even if you have never attempted any kind of creative writing before, sitting down to try to write a story or a poem, or even a song, can be a wonderful outlet and opportunity for escapism from the strict academic confines of your college classes. Giving your mind the chance to move away from the subjects and assignments that are causing you the most stress can have a really rejuvenating effect.
Creative writing can be an especially helpful technique for students who are studying math or science related subjects, because in their academic lives they rarely get the opportunity to express themselves in a truly creative way and exercise that part of the minds.
To Do Lists
Something else related to writing that you can do to help ease your stresses and worries is to become an avid to do list writer. The volume of tasks and responsibilities that students are required to juggle in today’s colleges are, at times, crazy, and in a small but significant way it can really help to clear your mind if you take a moment to sit down in the morning or at the beginning of the week and physically write out all of the goal that you want to achieve.
To make this a positive practice, try not to go too big in terms of milestones you want to achieve. For example, rather than simply writing “write dissertation”, you might instead want to divide the job up into smaller tasks like “plan”, “write introduction”, “find five great secondary sources”. Giving yourself small, achievable tasks that you can have the satisfaction of ticking off a to do list can make you feel much more positive about the entire situation.
Find A Pen Pal
Although it’s incredibly easy to stay in contact with absolutely everybody these days via social media and smartphone networking, there is something really satisfying and traditional about having a pen pal. The art of writing letters on a nice stationery can have a really calming effect, and the anticipation of a reply from a new friend can give you something to look forward to when you are feeling bogged down by your school work.
There are plenty of websites where you can find a pen pal, based on things like location and personal interests. It’s always great to make a new friend!
Ultimately, there is no getting away from the fact that your college years are going to be stressful, but that doesn’t mean you have to succumb to the pressure and have a bad time. Living healthy and having a balanced academic and social life are all crucial factors, but hopefully this article has opened your eyes to the good that writing can do for you.