5 ways to manage new semester stress


Alexandria Anderson, News reporter

With the start of the school year comes the start of school-related stressand for many students, how they deal with these first month anxieties make or break the semester.

Every semester brings a set of new challenges, no matter how long you’ve been on campus. Here’s a list of the 5 best ways to tackle that new semester stress.

1. Exercise

At the beginning of the school year, most stress comes from being overwhelmed. After a summer following your own schedule, being in the classroom and receiving deadlines can make you feel like your mind is stuck in one place. One of the most successful ways to regain that mental energy is to become physically active. 

The Preston Center on campus offers an array of workout opportunities, including group exercise sessions. 

“The high intensity cardio and yoga group sessions are especially good for stress,” Annmarie Brady, the GroupX coordinator and graduate student in public health from Cleveland, Ohio said. “You can leave your stress at the door, and focus on yourself for just a 30 minute workout.”

If you’re feeling stressed, try stepping away from schoolwork for just a 30 minute workoutthis short burst of activity will leave you reinvigorated and ready to get back to work.

2. Talk it out

Sometimes, the easiest way to deal with stress and anxiety is to discuss how you’re feeling with someone you trust. But it can be difficult to see how anyone could understand what you’re going through, especially when looking at how much your day-to-day schedule can vary from someone else’s. 

Just remember: every student, no matter major or class, has dealt with some kind of new year stress and anxiety. 

“Harboring your stress can be detrimental to your mental health,” Alana Lassiter, a freshman psychological science major from Danville, said. “But talking about stress doesn’t have to be some big ordeal. Asking for help seems intimidating, but the payoff is worth it.”

3. Take a walk around campus

Walking around campus may not seem very relaxing during the rush to get to your classesbut taking a walk around the hill without a time constraint is one of the best ways to destress and clear your mind. 

Working at a computer or in a textbook all day, especially when you’re not used to it, can make you feel restricted and overwhelmed. Taking a walk, alone or with friends, can help you refresh your body and mind. 

Take some time to appreciate the beauty of campus, especially if you’re a first-year student, and visit the notable WKU landmarks. New semester stress has the potential to keep you stuck indoors, but taking your breaks outside will keep your mind clear and refreshed.

4. Pick up a familiar hobby

When a new schedule or environment is your main stressor, doing something familiar can help ease stress and anxiety. Having an activity that you’re passionate about outside school is useful when you need to get away from school-related topics. 

A few examples might be that you like to play an instrument, draw or paint, compete in sports or play video games. All of these things allow you time to yourself to recharge and destress.

When it comes to stress management, it’s good to have one hobby that you know won’t cause you any worry, and you will always enjoy doing.

5. Attend WKU social events

For some, letting go of stress means having the opportunities to connect with others outside schoolwork. WKU and its student organizations offer many events throughout the semester that encourage having fun and relaxing with others. 

Going to these social events gives students the chance to take a break from the stress of school work alongside fellow peers.

“Attending social events helps pull me out of my shell,” Aurora Speltz, sophomore Arabic, Spanish and international affairs major, said. “When I get stressed I retreat into myself and social events help me avoid that.”

News reporter Alexandria Anderson can be reached at [email protected]