Admissions Blog: 7 steps to managing stress in college

study library

College life is exciting, and it’s a lot of fun. But, who am I kidding, it’s also a lot of work! As we get closer to the end of the fall semester, emotions tend to run high. If you’re not a robot, chances are you’re going to get a little stressed out. Here’s my seven-step guide to managing stress in college.


science class

1. Identify the stress — whether it is academics, extracurricular activities or sports. Also know the signs of stress. For some people, it is difficulty sleeping, for others it may be feeling ill. Know the difference between a “regular” and a bad sign!

Students campus fall

2. Figure out a good balance. One of the main causes of stress is the fact that you haven’t worked out a balance between work and play. This is especially true when dealing with stress in your freshman year. Try to figure out where the imbalance lies.

Outdoor study

3. Manage your time by creating a schedule. If you begin scheduling your life a little, you’ll automatically find the right balance between school work, extracurricular activities and downtime.

Lake floating

4. Relax! Having a schedule is great, but if you schedule every moment of your life, it won’t make you less stressed, only more. Make sure you know that you are going to be relaxing at some point. Personally, I really like watching movies with my friends. (Popcorn is cheap and plentiful!)

Now for the most serious and universal tips:

library study

5. Sleep! You can do whatever you want with your life, but if you don’t sleep, you are going to end up super-duper tired and nonfunctioning. Please get some rest, ladies!

Students eat in Prothro

6. Eat! Hangry is a thing. Make sure you are eating meals every day. (Preferably three because that is what docs recommend.) Make sure you know your dining hall hours and that if you are prone to forgetting about meals, you set alarms.

FAC track

7. Exercise! In college you will most likely have access to a free gym. Here at Sweet Briar, we have the Fitness and Athletics Center (pictured above), and it is stocked with everything you could need to keep fit. Your gym may even have classes, so take advantage of them!


Stressed out? Try Sweet Briar’s Academic Resource Center for free help with time management, as well as writing, study skills and test prep!


Victoria StacpooleVictoria Stacpoole ’20 came to Sweet Briar in fall 2016 as a first-year — now she’s a junior! — and chose to double-major in history and international affairs with a minor in business. She loves her job as a student admissions ambassador and her involvement in Sweet Briar’s Student Government Association, of which she’s been a part all three years.