Tips to reduce stress in college

Students heading off to college are flooded with a wide range of emotions, from nervousness at the thought of leaving home to the excitement of embarking on a new and wonderful adventure. And possibly for the first time in their lives, they are in the driver’s seat, making their own decisions and charting their own path. 

College students have a lot to look forward to, including their newfound independence, expanded social opportunities, the pursuit of their chosen careers and so much more. But let’s face it- college can sometimes be stressful, especially for first-year students.

What causes stress and anxiety among college students?

According to the American Institute of Stress, there are many triggers that can lead to stress and anxiety in college students, including:

  • Social issues, including relationship difficulties
  • Family issues and expectations 
  • Loneliness
  • Financial burdens
  • Struggling to manage coursework and work schedules
  • Academic pressure and unmet academic expectations
  • Stressing about the future

Students need to know that experiencing stress while in college is not at all uncommon. In fact, everyone experiences some form of stress from time to time. The trick to dealing with stress is learning to manage it before it becomes something more serious, like anxiety or depression. 

Steps you can take to manage stress

Experiencing stress while at college is unavoidable, but there are steps students can take to help manage their stress. Everyday Health suggests taking these steps:

  • Eat healthy foods and stay hydrated
  • Stay active and exercise regularly: exercise is a great stress reliever 
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Manage your time and learn to say “no” to additional commitments that don’t fit into your schedule
  • Take “self-care” breaks (go for a walk, read a book, talk to a friend, etc.)
  • Reach out for help from a friend, family member, or counselor if you need it

Davenport offers wellness resources to students 

Davenport University encourages students to reach out to its Wellness Center for support if they are feeling overwhelmed. 

The Wellness Center, located on Davenport University’s W.A. Lettinga Campus, provides students with free and confidential counseling and health services through in-person or virtual visits.  

Students can schedule an appointment at the Wellness Center in one of four ways:

Davenport also offers support through its Center for Campus Life Student Affairs team. This team assists students in times of unplanned crisis which impact academic progress. Examples include an unexpected death in the family, an unforeseen short-term illness, or other life stressors that impact student success. Students can reach out at for non-counseling support.


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