Category Archives: Resources

Lower Your Stress and Anxiety During Exam Season

stress

College can be stressful.  Balancing your academics with work, friends, family, clubs and organizations, athletics, or whatever you’re involved in can be a lot to handle.  And with finals quickly approaching the stress may be mounting.  Feeling stress or anxiety is actually pretty common for college students.  According to a survey conducted in 2011 by the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD) anxiety is the top presenting concern among college students at 41.6%, closely followed by depression at 36.4% and relationship problems at 35.8%.  If you are interested in reading the overall report from the survey just click here.

While stress and anxiety may be a growing issue on college campuses there are always ways to reduce them.  Self-care is a huge part of that.  Here are some self-care tips to help you de-stress and lower your anxiety.  Some of these may seem basic or obvious, but some of these things are the first thing to go when we get stressed.

present

  1. Do nice things for yourself.

Treat yourself.  This doesn’t necessarily mean buy yourself a present, although you could do that.  In college, funds can be pretty tight.  So find others things to treat yourself with.  Take an extra-long hot shower or bath, not because you’re dirty but because it can be relaxing.  Build in an hour of me time in your schedule where you put aside school and work, maybe watch something on Netflix.  If you want to buy yourself a present get that set of headphones you’ve been admiring, maybe get your favorite candy.  It’s nice to be nice yourself.

  1. Keep to a schedule.

Keeping to a regular schedule can cut down on stress and anxiety quite a bit.  You know your class schedule and how that interacts with your work schedule if you have a job.  Write that out.  Now add in a specific time block every day to study and get homework done.  Make sure you schedule times to eat and relax.  If you’re involved in any extracurriculars add them in too.  Sometimes there will be fluctuations, things can happen unexpectedly.  But keeping the same general schedule every week will get you into a routine that will become second nature.

Paint

  1. Do something fun!

What is your favorite thing to do?  When is the last time you did it?  Personally, my favorite thing to do it paint, and I can’t remember the last time I did it.  Try to do this thing regularly.  Having fun is important to leading a low-stress life.

  1. Get enough sleep.

I’m sure you’ve heard this quite a lot.  But it really is important.  If you get a full night’s sleep you will be more alive, alert, awake, enthusiastic! (Anybody else get that song stuck in their head as a kid?)  You will be more attentive throughout the day, which means getting done what you need to get done more efficiently and quickly.

food

  1. Don’t skip any meals.

You need to make sure your body has the proper fuel to run.  This means eating regularly.  If you skip a meal you may not be able to function properly while studying, going, to class, take a test, doing homework, going to your job, etc.  So make sure you eat!

  1. Say no!

Don’t be afraid to say no to things.  You don’t have to cover every co-worker’s shift whenever they ask.  You don’t have to spearhead every project for all the clubs you’re in.  It is okay to put yourself first.  Essentially don’t overload yourself.  Making that schedule could really help with this.

friends

  1. Spend time with friends and family.

Make time to be with your friends and family.  Sometimes you just need to take a break with those people who love you most.  I often find I feel much more relaxed after a night of hanging out with the fam and my bestie.

These are just some of my favorite ways to de-stress and lower anxiety.  Looking for more?  Why not check out this boss article from Huff Post?  20 Scientifically Back Ways to De-Stress Right Now

If you are in need of any health or counseling services they are available right here at Millersville University.  Click here for counseling.  Click here for health services.

 

Photos courtesy of Canva.

Kristi Shorter is an Intern for Millersville University’s Housing and Residential Programs.  She is currently pursuing her Master of Education in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.

Five Tips for Writing in College

At this point in the semester, you may have written a paper or two.  If you haven’t you may be preparing to write a final paper for a class.  (End of the semester is just six weeks away.)  Here are five tips from a past writing major to keep in mind as you work on your papers.

Writing 1

  1. Pace Yourself

It is too often the case that students wait until the night before to start a paper.  They’ll stay up all night, writing right up until the time it’s due.  Don’t do that!  Start at least a couple weeks in advance.  Take your time to formulate your thoughts and find your resources.  If you spend an hour a night writing you’ll find that in a couple weeks you will be done with time to spare.

  1. Outline

Now that you’ve decided to start sooner than the night before one of the first things you should do is outline.  Here are the basics: The intro paragraph, the body, the conclusion.  The intro should be no longer than half a page.  It should have a topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paper.  The rest of the intro should quickly outline each point you hope to hit in the body.  The body will follow the order of the points you outlined in the intro.  Finally, the conclusion is not just a summary of your paper.  The conclusion should be the place where you explain your findings.  It is the culmination of your paper’s viewpoint or argument; it should be the resolution to the problem or topic.

Writing 2

  1. Don’t know how to start?

Sometimes writing the intro is the toughest part of the paper.  If this is the case for you then skip it!  Start with the meat of the paper.  Once you get the ball rolling on the body you’ll find it will be easier for you to go back to the beginning and write the intro.

  1. Draft and Edit

Your first draft should never be what you hand in.  Make sure to re-read and re-work.  Do you need an apostrophe here?  Did you use the wrong word there?  Always draft and edit!

  1. Careful Sourcing

Double check your sources.  Are they reputable?  Or are they some random Tumblr blog?  Don’t use Wikipedia as your main source.  And DO NOT plagiarize.  If you are quoting someone else, make it obvious.  If you want to summarize what someone said, make it obvious.  The best way to do this is to follow the in-text citing guidelines of the style of writing you are using.  Whether it is MLA, APA, or something else there will always be a specific way to cite.  Save yourself a headache. Don’t mistakenly plagiarize by not following style rules, and don’t outright plagiarize.

If you need some help with your writing check out the Writing Center in the Francine G. McNairy Library and Learning Forum here at Millersville University.  They opened in their new Library location on September 18th, and have many tutors to help with all your writing needs.

The Writing Center in McNairy Library.  Photo courtesy Millersville University.

Other Graphics and Photos courtesy of Canva.

Kristi Shorter is an Intern for Millersville University’s Housing and Residential Programs.  She is currently pursuing her Master of Education in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.