Stress to Impress

Resident Assistant puts out a fake fire in a stress-relieving training activity. Photo Courtesy of Patrick Cooper.

By Jenna Gibson

Opinions Editor

For almost all of August, I ignored the fact that I had to be back at school in less than a month. When the days before I had to move in to my dorm dwindled down to single digits, I realized it was inevitable, and I had to start packing.

It seems like just yesterday I was moving into my dorm room in Bacot, hanging out with my one friend—my roommate—and trying to get accustomed to the communal showers and the faintly musty scent. I feel like I was much different than I am now (I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing), and I had no idea what to expect for the year ahead. Now, being a junior, I’m moving into my slightly better dorm, hanging out with my friends (note the “s”) and easily getting accustomed to my own shower and—thankfully—the lack of a musty scent.

I’ve come to realize that college is a completely different world than high school. In college, you’re constantly surrounded by your peers, and the only vaguely parental guidance you have comes from your professors. You can’t sleep past your alarm in hope that your mom will yell at you to wake you up, and you have to do your own laundry. Not to be dramatic, but you even have to filter your own water (if you don’t, good luck to you). It’s also very stressful. And, although I cannot assure you that I am never stressed out, I think it’s important to remind oneself that being stressed out is okay.

Everyone has different ways to cope with stress, but sometimes you just need some help. So, here are three simple ways that I most typically handle my stress.

1. Exercise

I’m not sure why I listed this as the number one tip, because I haven’t been doing it that often. Still, I’ve noticed that every time I got really stressed out during the school year, I’ve ended up exercising. Whether that meant running on the treadmill in the HAC or doing workout videos in my room, exercising would automatically put me in a better mood. (Sidenote: if you’re angry, I hear kickboxing helps.)

2. Go to Sleep

This is more of an obvious tip, but sometimes in college, people forget to sleep. I’ll sometimes get so caught up in writing papers, studying for tests and doing homework that I forget that I’m useless without sleep. Some tests from my freshman year are prime examples of this.

3. Clean Your Room

I feel like my mother would be proud of me for this one, but it’s true. Sometimes scrubbing dishes and vacuuming calms me down, and although I don’t know if there’s a scientific explanation for this, it really does seem to help me.

Although going back to school can be a very hectic and stressful time, I do like college. I might not love it as much as Asher Roth does, but I do think these could very well be some of the best years of my life. For me, being stressed out is a necessary part of being a college student, especially at this school. When it comes to Millsaps, though, I can definitely (or maybe tentatively), say that I think it’s all worth it.

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