In many areas of life, stress is inevitable. For college students this can be a major problem since many of them are not prepared for what they will face. College is a whole new ball game, with a much heavier workload and additional responsibilities. Many college students have to find jobs on or off campus. Going to work, attending classes regularly and turning assignments in on time can prove to be too much for some people.
Even college students who are not working can be overwhelmed by their studies. Scholarship students especially have a lot of pressure placed on them to maintain good grades. The harder some students work, the higher their stress level gets. At some point, stress can become a health risk, and it can even lead some people to contemplate suicide. The following tips can help college students beat stress:
Learn to go easy on yourself
This might seem simple, but it is an important way to avoid stress buildup. Missed deadlines can happen to anyone, so do not panic, and try not to be angry with yourself. Instead, learn from it and try to do better in the future. Failing an exam or getting a low grade is also no reason to beat up on yourself. When you do not perform as well as you wish, take it in stride and try to do better next time.
Get enough sleep
Not getting enough sleep is something that many college students can relate to as they work to achieve their goal. Adequate rest is essential for good health, especially mental health. Lack of sleep can affect our moods, making us irritable and prevent us from dealing with problems in the right way. People who get enough sleep are able to concentrate better in class and they are generally more relaxed.
Have a good diet
Many college students eat a lot of junk food because it is cheaper or sometimes more convenient. The brain needs the right amount of nutrients to function properly. Try to have fruits and vegetables every day, and take a multivitamin if necessary. Eating whole grain foods is also a good idea for the college student. A body that is properly fed is better at dealing with stressful situations.
Hanging out with friends is a great way to deal with the pressure of being in college. Sometimes it is good to have fun and to not think about the things that are bothering you. Even studying together as a group can be a fun activity and helps to make the workload easier. You can also look for clubs on campus that will allow you to spend time with other people in a setting that has nothing to do with the classroom.
Talk to someone
If you feel like you are under too much stress, it helps if you share this with someone. This person can be a lecturer, a faculty advisor or even a close friend. Sometimes it is good to get problems off your chest by talking. Communicating with others can help you to feel better, resulting in you feeling less stressed.
Look at your workload
It is possible that you are taking more courses than you can handle. This is an easy way to fall into the stress trap. It is s good idea to look at the courses you are taking and dropping one or two to make your coursework more manageable. It may even be necessary to sit out a semester to give yourself time to recuperate and get back on track. The important thing is to ensure that doing this will not put your credits below the number that you need to graduate.
Spend some time alone
While being with friends can be good, sometimes distance from other people is just as beneficial. It is a good idea to be alone for a while just to relax or to think about the problems that make you feel stressed. You might even come up your own ideas to help you manage your stress.
Studies have shown that exercise promotes good mental health. Vigorous exercise improves blood flow, and can help to improve your mood. Some people actually go to the gym to relieve stress. At many colleges, gym membership is free or very reasonably priced for students.
Some people meditate to help to clear their minds and leave their stress behind. Others start to take music lessons or a new sport. Whichever method is chosen, the goal is always the same; mastering the demon called stress. If you fail to control this problem, it could cause you to fail in college and prevent you from reaching your goals.
Socializing and Networking: A Step Towards Global Careers
One of the advantages of studying abroad is the opportunity to build a network of international friends and acquaintances who can give you tips and information on further studies as well as career opportunities across the globe. Though it might take a bit of an effort to break the ice and make friends with local as well as other foreign students – the benefits are well worth it. In this article we provide effective tips for international students to help improve their social life at college and build lasting friendships.
Try to meet a variety of people
Whereas it is natural tendency to seek out people from your home country, we advise you to reach out and connect with local students and residents as well. You can do this by going to parties and other social events. If you share a work or study space with other students, you can play songs that mutual favorites and discuss common interests like college sports, celebrities, etc to break the ice and build camaraderie.
Feel free to invite your classmates and contemporaries students to special occasions (birthdays and anniversaries) or festivals you celebrate, help them learn about your culture, and don’t be shy to attend their events if invited. Be open-minded about making friends and don’t let any initial teething troubles deter you.
Be Proud of Your Difference
When in an alien country it is inevitable that on a few occasions you may feel you are sticking out like a sore thumb, but don’t be scared or apologetic for being different, rather be proud of it. Life is for learning and the fact that you are open-minded and brave enough to have enrolled at a school in a foreign country should give you the confidence to explore forge some highly rewarding friendships. People by nature are curious and adventurous – in varying degrees, as an ambassador of your country and culture, get them interested their positive aspects. You will be surprised as to how much people all over the world have in common – cherish the similarities and celebrate the differences.
Speak and Enunciate Slowly
Don’t be afraid that you have an “accent” and feel that communicating with the local and resident population would be a bit tedious. Speak slowly and enunciate clearly so that others do have not trouble understanding your words. Everybody will appreciate the effort you are taking to communicate and will be motivated to reciprocate.
Take part on group activities
Utilize weekends and holidays to form a group of willing students to go sightseeing around the city and even to other towns and cities. You can use the opportunity to form close friendships with like-minded peers in the group. So get information about local museums, zoos and other places of attraction and take the initiative to invite your fellow students to form a group to visit these places. You can pool in resources like cash, cars, food etc. so that everybody contributes their mite to the group activity.
Join a Club or Organization
At the beginning of the college year, find out about the organizations and clubs at your college, make it a point to find the time to join and be an active participant in those that interest you. For example, if you are interested in quizzing, debating or any other activity, join the relevant clubs to pursue your interest and make friends with like-minded students. Keep a watch for flyers and posters about various clubs and ask your acquaintances too about the extracurricular interests they pursue. You are bound to find something interesting for yourself.
You may have often heard the term “Global Village” an integral part of this “village” are global citizens, businesses are increasingly looking at professionals who have global networks along with global credentials. Going to college in a foreign country is a wonderful opportunity for you to be a part of this new world order, make friends and acquaintances across cultures. An opportunity you would not have if you stayed at home. So shed your shyness and grab the chance with both hands to form a network of like-minded peers at college to boost your social life and create networks to further your studies as well as professional opportunities.
Challenges Faced by International Students in the US
Foreign students in the US face a host of issues that they need to deal with effectively to ensure their period of stay in the nation is happy and fruitful. Some of the common problems include the cold weather in winter (depending on the location) as well as coping with the demanding course work. In this article, we list the common challenges faced by international students in the US and advice on how to handle them effectively.
The United States is called a melting pot because people from diverse ethnic backgrounds and cultures live here harmoniously. In fact, New York City is home to residents hailing from more than 100 nations. Yet the US has its own distinctive culture which can take a while to adapt to for students from conservative countries. For instance, interaction with professors is informal and on a first-name basis. College administrations do their bit for foreign students by providing resources and hosting events to help them mingle with the community.
New arrivals at a US campus tend to put on weight especially if they stay in the college dorms. Daily meals are offered in unlimited quantities at the restaurant buffets and this can be too tempting for some. Besides typical American fare such as burgers, pasta and pizza can play havoc on your waistline if you are not too careful. So foreign students need to be smart and eat healthy foods to stay in shape for their course work, athletic activities and of course partying.
Most students from foreign countries are used to being graded on tests and papers. In the US, class participation is important and students have to do research and cite their sources in their assignment papers. This can be a tough challenge but there are resources available on the Internet that can be referred to. College campuses also help out by offering writing centers that provide the necessary tutoring to help international students get good grades on their research papers.
Most college professors in the US encourage students to participate in class discussions and are open to offering advice and help regarding course work in their offices. If you get an assistantship to work with a professor, make the best of it and gain valuable knowledge from him or her. It can indeed be a cultural novelty for students from places with more of hands-off instruction. Our advice is to not regard professors as your superiors but as partners who can help you learn more.
Most US universities and colleges offer a diverse range of subjects especially at the undergraduate level. So don’t just stick to engineering or business courses for example. Some students are shocked that they have to take history or religion courses and struggle with electives. But such subjects offer you exposure to topics that you wouldn’t have pursued otherwise. So keep your mind free and open, and try to cultivate new interests and academic passions at your US college.
College life is not just about academics. Making friends and creating networks is also important to help you lead a fulfilling social life and move ahead in your career. Try to mingle with your classmates and go on sightseeing tours with them around the city and even to other places. Plenty of students in your class may be from other towns or countries and you can hook up with them for these sightseeing tours. American professors encourage teamwork for class discussions and written assignments and you can utilize this opportunity to create your own intimate circle of international friends.
Life is all about facing challenges bravely and carving your own path towards your set goals and destinations. So imbibe the international student experience in the US with an open mind to succeed in your academic life.
Helping Other Students When Times Are Tough
Let’s be honest. Times can be tough and sometimes being in school is certainly no picnic. The college student’s experience can be made more difficult by a number of factors. Many would say that it is the most difficult for nontraditional students who are over the age of 24 and may already have children or others to care for. Adding that in to a busy college workload can spell disaster and stress. But other people have ‘rainy days’ as well. Here is a list of tips for how to help out a friend who is having a bad day.
Nothing says friendship like a box of homemade cookies. If you have access to an oven, ask your friend what their favorite types of baked goods are.
2. Create a Care Package
Number 2 sort of goes hand in hand with number 1. But care packages are not just things that college students receive from their relatives. They can be gifts from other college students to fellow college students. Find out what foods your friend likes. Also consider any special interests your friend has, such as comic books or romance novels and the like. If the student has children or pets make sure to think of them when creating the care package! If your friends want to help, break it up and assign certain items to certain people or include a monetary gift in care package
3. Send A Supportive Note
Sometimes the best forms of support aren’t tangible. Offering up words of support when a fellow student is going through a bad time is sometimes worth more than food, or money. Taking the time out to show that you care is what matters the most. Remind your friend that the stormy days pass. Sometimes a simple text message or email is effective. When the situation is more serious (such as the death of a relative or friend) an actual note or card is more appropriate and certainly more tactful.
4. Offer to Do Chores
Sometimes friends help friends help friends by allowing the friend to take time off for themselves but chores and other obligations consistently get in the way. Pool together and form a group of friends that will take turns accomplishing household chores and other tasks. If the student lives in a residence hall the chores can be as simple as doing the other student’s laundry or feeding their goldfish. If it is an older student with children one suggestion would be for the friend to take the student’s children for the day so that mom and dad could have a day of peace and relaxation. Other chores can include cooking, dog walking, dishwashing, gardening, etc.
5. Just Be There and Listen
Simply being there can be one of the best things that a friend can do when times are rough. Whether it is a financial issue or a death in the family it really helps to have just one person present who is not judgmental. Sometimes just being there, being silent, and being an active listener is the best gift that you can give to a person whose world may be caving in on them. Active listening means that you simply listen without trying to formulate a response or an opinion to what the other person is saying. Active listening is one of the greatest life skills that anyone can ever learn or practice. It is also one of the most difficult to learn and apply, but so extremely important that having this skill will help you for the rest of your life.