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How to Deal With Stress During Senior Year of College

The school year is flying by and the pressure is on for college seniors. They are on cusp of entering the adult world and the decisions they have to make seem colossal. Seniors are all dealing with a lot of stress and uncertainty.  It is imperative, however, to stay calm and to enjoy the last few months of college.

Prioritize your time

Your time is a precious commodity, so think carefully about who and what you need to spend it on. For example, it may not be important for you to spend the better part of your last days at school with your nose in a book at the library trying to maintain a 4.0 if you have a promising job lined up or if you’ve gotten in to your top choice graduate school already. Make time for sleep and eating well to maintain your wellbeing and keep your mind sharp and your stress levels down.

Make time for friends

The relationships you develop in college are likely to become lifelong friendships and connections. After college, you might not get a chance to see the people that are close to you now. Take the time you have left to make it clear how important they are to you.

Make time for a constructive hobby

This doesn’t have to be something you will pursue professionally, although it can eventually get serious. It just has to be something you love doing and that will serve as an outlet for you. Be it art, karate, horseback riding, jogging, music, or theatre, doing something that you enjoy is so valuable. Having a hobby in your schedule can provide “breaks” from the anxieties of being a senior and help you keep going.

Be realistic about your expectations for yourself

Instead of falling into the trap of comparing yourself to others, follow your own path. Do everything in your power to reach your goals and don’t get discouraged if you encounter roadblocks or setbacks. It is not unusual to run into many of them! You may have to move back in with your parents for a little while. With the state of the job market and the economy right now, it’s becoming more and more common for college grads to spend some time back at home. Don’t beat yourself up about it. In time, you will figure things out.

Since you and your friends are all going through some big life transitions, many things are going to change

Couples may be splitting up, or deciding to get married, your friends are moving all around the world for opportunities and jobs, not to mention the fact that the way you’ve been living for the past years is coming to a definite end.  All of this can seem extremely overwhelming. In order to cope, keep your focus on your wellbeing, happiness and future to guide you through.

Thinking about the future can be exciting and scary. The real world is full of fear, uncertainty and doubt. It is important to learn to keep your stress in check even in the midst of chaos. Take things one day at a time and remain level-headed. Even though you have a world of exciting opportunities ahead of you, enjoy your last few months of being in college. Remember that you will never get them back.

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If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a free, 24-hour hotline at 1.800.273.8255. If your issue is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.