The S-word: Stress and How to Deal with It

Jordan Washington –

I know that it’s only the beginning of the year, but I’ve seen and have personally been a victim to the big s-word.


Stress and being a college student go hand-in-hand like peanut butter and jelly. As college students, and as we get older, we tend to pile up more and more on our plates until we go a little crazy.  However, there are some great ways to deal with stress as we get more into the semester.

If you’re super stressed out about an upcoming paper, project, or exam, go talk to someone. Whether it be a trusted friend, family member, or faculty member here at Illinois College, verbalizing your problems to someone you trust can make you feel as if a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. It’s so hard to keep emotions to yourself, that’s why it’s best to talk to someone about it. Always remember that someone would love to help you.

Take a little break. By that I mean if you’ve been stressed over a big assignment and you are getting to the point where you want to throw your computer towards a wall, take a break and do something that you really enjoy. Take a walk, play your favorite video game, listen to your favorite song. Taking a break will help you have a better mindset so that when you get back to that dreaded project, it’s easier for you to keep working on it or finish it.


Write out your feelings. If you are one of those people who likes to write a lot, you can write about your stressful feelings. Sometimes the best medicine to any problem is paper and a pen, or in some people’s case, your fingers and your keyboard.

Go hang with friends. I know that when I’m stressed, just kicking back and having fun with friends really helps. Friends can help you put a smile on your face when you don’t want to smile, and when you are feeling down, they always know how to bring you back up.

Get involved around campus. Being involved with things that interest you can really lower your stress levels if they are high. As I mentioned earlier, doing things that interest you can alleviate your stress. While doing these things, try your best to not have what’s causing you stress on your mind; enjoy yourself.

If you are into working out or anything else that’s athletic, go do it. I know that whenever I work out and I’m stressed, I feel much better at the end of the workout than I did when it started. Working out helps you release those stressful toxins, because remember, too much stress can be very bad for your body internally.

Change your environment. Sometimes, our stress levels are heightened given the particular environments we inhabit on an almost daily basis. For instance, if you seem to always be stressed whenever you are in a certain place with a certain person, you may want to change the place, or maybe even the person you are with next time.

A little bit of stress is not a big deal, but whenever you feel stressed, especially as we move towards the more hectic part of the year, you may want to use some of these tips to help you have a ‘no stressin’ mentality.


Jordan Washington, from Olympia Fields, Illinois, is a junior majoring in English with a double minor in Music and Communications at Illinois College. Jordan is a opinions writer for The Rambler and is a member of Forte and Wind Ensemble.


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