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Jan 16 2016
by Jaclyn Imai

10 Tips for a Less Stressful Semester

By Jaclyn Imai - Jan 16 2016
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1. Acknowledge What Stresses You Out

Maybe it's a friend. Or a club. Whatever it is that's not required (classes are unfortunately exempt), know what stresses you out. That can be difficult to recognize, but if meeting with a club becomes more of a chore and not something that you look forward to, or you find yourself making excuses to avoid meeting a friend, take a break for awhile.

2. Take Naps

A nap is the friend that will not stress you out. It's refreshing to quiet your brain. And if you don't have time for a full two hour nap, try a twenty minute power nap. I can always fit in another one or two hours of quality work after a power nap no matter how late it is.

3. Exercise

I'm not a fan of exercising. But biologically, exercise releases endorphins that make you feel happy whether you want to or not. Just ten minutes can make a difference in how alert you are. Also, it makes a nice segway into that power nap.

4. Make Time For Yourself

I wish someone had told me this in high school. It's really easy to get caught up in everything we have to do. Work from this hour to this hour, go to a study session from this time to this time, rush back to your room to finish a paper, take a shower and go to sleep. Make sure you have time to detox from the day. Eat with your friends or just watch Youtube for 15 minutes before you go to sleep.

5. Enjoy the Little Things

If you go to college where it rains a lot, take a moment to enjoy how things look in the sunlight. Or if you live in a place where there's a lot of sunlight, enjoy how things look when there's rain. Be a hippie and stare at some flowers. Or a star every night. Find a "little thing" to appreciate and you'll notice great improvement in your outlook with regards to the "big things."

6. Treat Yourself

Part of life is little things, and that includes the small, everyday victories. If taking a nap is hard for you and you manage to take a nap in order to catch up on your sleep for a week, treat yourself with going out for an evening with all of the extra energy you have. Even better, if you finish a report or something else that's guaranteed to be pretty draining.

7. It's Okay to Rant

Sometimes, life gets to be too much. It might be one huge report or family issue back home or something completely out of your control. Or it can be a bunch of little things put together that just makes you want to explode. It's okay to rant. We've all been there, one way or another. The release will make you feel A LOT better.

8. It's Okay to Cry

Same as ranting, if you need to cry, then you need to cry. It's cathartic, and a lot better than bottling up your frustration until you really can't handle it.

9. Do Something Spontaneous

Instead of heading back to your room, explore an area of campus you haven't been to yet. Join a random club for a while. Whatever it is, mess up your plans a bit. It keeps days from being too routine and makes every moment feel a little bit different than the last one.

10. Reconnect

We all have that one friend that we know we should contact back home or going to another school, but we haven't talked to them in a while or maybe not even since we got to college. Too often the stories that we tell can seem stale because we've told them to so many different people on campus. Talk to someone from high school you can relay your college stories to.

These steps don't work all of the time, so when you're really stressed out, remember this - live for the moments that last a lifetime, not the moments that feel like a lifetime.

Lead Image Credit: Alan Cleaver

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Jaclyn Imai - University of Southern California

Jaclyn Imai is a freshman Theatre Acting major from the University of Southern California with intended minors in communication and cinematic arts. She has has written comedic and dramatic pieces for theater in high school. She loves food, trying new things and traveling anywhere, even if that "anywhere" is just walking ten minutes to get more food. She hopes people enjoy her sassy writing, and that her serious writing makes people think.

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