Whether you’re starting your first day as a college freshman in Orlando, finishing your bachelor’s degree at UCF or Valencia, or starting out your graduate program in Orlando, we can all agree that end of summer blues mixed with new school year anxiety doesn’t make a good combination. Stress accumulates different in everyone and we each have our own individual stressors, but the question is how do we cope with them? If you resonate with these feelings, seeking out professional help from an individual therapist in Orlando who specializes with college students and offers student rates may be a good start for you. Until then, here are some tips to start off this school year mentally strong.
Keep track of your classes and schedules with a calendar, planner, or both! Take out your classes syllabi and write down due dates beforehand and use colored highlighters to signify each class. This will keep you on you’re a-game before you even reach that assignment.
One amazing way to cope with school stressors in Orlando is to be involved in the community. Universities like UCF offer various clubs, athletics and organizations for you to join, network, and keep you focused. These clubs can aid in interests, career decisions, and even health.
Join forces with fellow classmates to start study groups before major tests, or to even help out with homework. This is academic networking that gives you an outlet besides your professor to keep you engaged, ask questions and understanding class content.
Your school counselor helps you organize your schedule for the next few years. They can lay out all the information needed for your coursework, diploma or degree. Most of the time, they are students themselves or highly educated in their work to provide tips as well.
In high school you knew your teachers pretty well, but in college you’re lucky to have a face to face discussion with them during class. However, utilizing your professor’s office hours helps them identify who you are and provides networking for your course, and for future courses. (& even a potential recommendation letter!)
The stereotypical “all-nighter” is a thing of the past. It is pretty clear that being well-rested aids in your academic performance. The best thing you can do for your body is having good sleep hygiene, which means a somewhat set bed time, minimum 7 hours of sleep, and consistency. Power naps can be good for you too! Once you have a consistent schedule, waking up for your 8 am lab doesn’t seem so hard.
Whether it’s your college’s coffee shop, library, or computer lab, finding a place that you find quiet and calming is ideal. This space can be used for your studies, reading, listening to music, or even decompressing after a stressful exam. Ensure this space is distraction-free and positive for your academic studies.
Another misconception about attending college in Orlando is that your health declines, you gain a freshman 15, and that’s normal. This can be prevented by still placing emphasis on your health. Most universities provide a gym that is free for students, and dedicating 30 minutes a day, or every other day, or even weekly can aid in your overall health. Eat smart as well! Making small changes as you progress is ideal.
Being a college student in Orlando is a great time to learn more about yourself, you’re on your own for the first time and have so many opportunities within these four years to find your true calling in life. Take time for adventure, trying new things, and meeting new people.
College can easily be the best time of our lives, as long as we take ourselves and our health as seriously as we take our studies. It is very common to be so involved in academics that we forget to practice self-care or develop routines that our physical and mental health need. If you’re a college student in the Orlando area facing major life changes or college stress and are in need of speaking to an individual therapist in Orlando, contact a therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy today.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.