7 Ways to Manage Stress During Your First Year at University

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Portrait of troubled girl touching head while preparing for seminar in college library

Freshers find themselves in a new environment during their first few weeks at university. They meet the challenges of living without the family to manage everything on their own. And soon, the stress of studies and catching up with others starts to take a toll on their mental health.

You can calm yourself amid the chaos of college life with some simple methods from the experts. It doesn’t require expensive therapy if the stress levels are manageable. More importantly, you must work on the cause of stress for a long term solution with an honest assessment of yourself.

Harmful Impact of Stress for Students

Stress can lead to numerous consequences that can affect your psychological and physiological wellbeing. You may lose focus on studies and important activities to dwell on the reasons to feel stressed. The schedule is often disrupted with excess or insufficient sleep.

The extreme consequences include anxiety and depression if it remains untreated. Pain in different muscles or part of your body will accompany the increasing level of stress. You should seek immediate help if the symptoms are severe as financial support is available with student loans in Scotland.

Tips for Freshers to Manage Stress

You should pay attention to your mental health while trying to adjust yourself at university. It is okay to feel overwhelmed, as many other students will feel the same. You can use the following tips to manage the stress levels if you start to experience its effects.

  1. Socialise

College is a great place to meet new people who share the same interest as you. You can join a club or society to meet them in an organised way. It will help manage the stress level by diverting your mind to some relaxing activities.

If not the club, you can live in a shared accommodation to spend time outside college with a friendly face. We often make friends for life with our roommates by living with them for at least a couple of years. Also, you can share responsibilities with them to clear your schedule.

  1. Exercise

You must pay attention to your mind and body throughout your life. It gets important when you enter adulthood with plenty of responsibilities. Therefore, add an hour of exercise to your morning schedule to start your day on a positive note.

You can join the other runners in the college running tracks or parks during the morning for a run. Many colleges offer yoga centres to their students to help them keep their minds and body in shape. Or, a 15 minutes yoga in the morning will help more than calming your mind with its long-term effects.

  1. Pick a New Hobby

University students are mostly busy maintaining a busy lifestyle with studies and a few hours to their hobbies. You can join a club to introduce yourself to a new hobby such as sports, debate, or acting. Many people also build a small garden on the balcony of their room.

These activities will keep you busy and help you make new friends. You may find it hard to spare an hour on needless activities if you try to catch your classmates in academics. But it is critical to ensure your mind functions properly to make the best use of limited time.

  1. Sleep

Adults should get at least 6 to 8 hours of quality sleep to give sufficient rest to their bodies. You cannot compromise the night sleep with the power or afternoon naps. It is a major cause of stress among adults with a direct impact on behaviour as well.

Time management is extremely important if you want to add enough sleep to your schedule. Prevent the use of a digital screen an hour before going to bed to avoid lying with eyes open. Try not to sleep during the day to fall asleep quickly after entering your bedroom.

  1. Eat Healthily

A healthy diet looks difficult to manage during the university years because of our careless attitude. We eat on the go, which often results in several medical conditions, including mental health issues. Create a diet plan to avoid unhealthy food to focus on your overall wellbeing.

Making your breakfast is simple with the help of easy to make dishes available online. You will save money while avoiding the outside food. Also, the right amount of carbs and fat will keep your mind and body in optimum shape.

  1. Budget

Students often find themselves in stressful situations because of the difficulty to manage finances. The situation gets worse if you have a huge student loan to repay with an average academic record. You can improve your financial condition by budgeting to start living within the means.

Focus on essentials while creating a budget and try to reduce unnecessary spending. You should allocate a small amount of saving to build an emergency fund. Or, you can search for a line of credit such as short term loans online to sail through the difficult times.

You can share the expenses with your roommates to save money. Always share the responsibilities to pay the bills to avoid frequent calls with service providers. It will put unnecessary stress on you if you are trying to manage everything on your own. 

  1. Find a Mentor

You will face roadblocks during your life as a student for the next few years. Your friends may not have the experience to give the right advice to overcome them. In those cases, a mentor can help to provide the required guidance to manage tough situations.

They can answer your doubts while trying to cope with the stress of personal and academic life. It is never easy to find a mentor that understands your approach to different problems. Many colleges already have a mentorship programme with faculty members to guide students.


To sum up, freshers should focus on time management to relax their mind with hobbies and sleep to reduce stress. Give yourself a few months to settle in the new atmosphere. The intimidation of the first year is common among the freshers, and you must ask for help when it becomes overwhelming.

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