Avoid stress, find joy in the little things

By Branson Hardcastle | Reporter

College is a stressful time. Many students stay stressed because they are so worried about tests, essays and homework.

It is important to stay on top of your schoolwork and to get good grades, but the amount of stress we put on ourselves sometimes feels unbearable. I have experienced this many times, especially when I have multiple tests or papers due on the same day. One trick I have learned to help dissolve the stress is to look for the joy in things.

It may sound weird that you can find joy while studying or writing, but it is possible. I learned it over the summer and during the early parts of this semester when I had two tests on the same day. I was talking to my parents about how stressed I felt and they told me to calm down and look for ways that I could enjoy what I was doing.

At first, I ignored their advice and continued to study while being stressed. I realized that I was not retaining any information and the amount of studying I had done was not helping me at all. I decided to give my parents’ advice a chance.

As I was studying, I began to think of how I could find joy in that moment. One thing I did to enjoy the studying is put some of the terms I was learning to music. Now the song did not really sound good, but I had fun with it and it made the studying easier and helped me remember the terms when I took the test.

Going with friends to study can be a good way to find joy as well. Yes, they may distract you, but it is good to take breaks. When my friends and I go, we always try to make it fun. We tell jokes to each other, sing songs and just randomly go explore the library to see who can find the weirdest or craziest books.

Finding joy to release stress does not have to solely come during studying. It can be found in a plethora of ways. Sometimes going out to eat, going star gazing or having impromptu dance parties on top of a parking garage with your friends are great ways to get your mind off of everything. During those times, just focus on what is happening. Do not worry about what you have due later that week or what test is coming up. Focus on what is now and enjoy every minute of it.

Think of all of the small things others do to make you laugh or smile. It could be someone telling a joke, giving you compliments or even bringing you Starbucks – focusing on those things will help dissolve the stress in your life. It may be hard to do at first, but once you really start to focus on those things and the joy that they bring, it changes the way you view stress.

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