Midterms Stressing You Out? A Few Pointers for College Freshmen.

By Elliott Banuelos on November 2, 2012

So, as we are all kind of solidifying our place in college, getting a sense of who our professors are, and what people we are going to associate ourselves with, us college freshmen are kind of in a daze with all these knew things adding to our stress load. I know that the first two months were especially hard for me as I tried to adjust to a life away from home, away from the friends I had, and  start being self-reliant.

While all of my classes are having exams and quizzes about every week, I need to somehow manage my time in accordance to social life, personal “me” time, time to get necessities done (like eating, buying groceries, cooking, cleaning), go to work, and study. It is totally possible to have all of these things against you and STILL get things done.

Here’s a few tips from moi that have helped me feel more at ease with stress in college:

  1. Drink tea: In this study, WebMd talks about Black tea reducing stress and anxiety levels. And it definitely has. Especially in cold San Francisco, a cup of warm tea not only hydrates you, but can also provide excellent antioxidants to keep colds away.
  2. Stretch in the morning: You know the feeling. When you get so stressed out that you are unintentionally flexing your shoulder muscles, bringing your shoulders to ear lobe level? Yeah. That may lead to some soreness which can distract you when you’re hitting the books. Take 10 minutes out of your morning to just stretch. Get that blood flowing throughout every inch in your body. It really does make a difference!
  3. Get some form of exercise: I know I’m not the most active person out there. But walking to your class, back to your dorm, to another class and back to your dorm is not enough. There are plenty of things offered on campus that are free and provide student services for yoga, swimming classes, and even upbeat high kick classes. They’re on campus, and are free! I know that sometimes getting a gym membership with the intention of using it for “awesome bod” purposes most of the time (if you’re anything like me) go down the drain. College kids don’t have money to just throw away. Utilize your school’s free services! OR–if you’re living off campus, there is an excellent place in the Mission district that has donation-based yoga. You can find it here!
  4. Make good choices, eat well!: I know that City Eats doesn’t have the best food. It really doesn’t. It’s actually pretty crappy. So, I understand if you can’t make the choices you’d want to. But thankfully, SFSU has a farmers’ market near Cafe Rosso which often has fresh, local fruits and snacks you can buy. That being said, make a trip over there and buy some fruits for the week. You’ll be surprised at how amazing you’ll feel afterwards.
  5. Use Studyblue.com: I just took this for a whirl the other day, and definitely helps if you are taking a Foreign Language or anything that requires hardcore memorization. I know that when you take the time to buy flashcards and write everything down, you “reward yourself” to check Facebook or Tumblr, or any other popular social networking website and it ends up being 2 hours wasted. Been there, done that. When you’re doing your studying on the computer, it eliminates that need to go on media sites. At least it has for me. You can insert your school/class/professor and “join a class” and even share or borrow flashcards others have made that will make your stack faster and easier to make.

That’s all I have for you guys today. I hope that your midterms come out great, and that this year treats you all well!

My name is Elliott and I attend San Francisco State University. I am a queer Latin@, anti-oppression social activist and cultural studies teacher. I frequently discuss anti-blackness in Latin@ spaces, radical pedagogy, indigenous & Palestinian resistance, and Portlandia, from time to time. Aside from the politics, I enjoy the company of friends, family, strangers, and street cats. I am a self-proclaimed coffee slut, body modification enthusiast, and enjoy reading great books.

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