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Home Centennial College Blog 2014 April 01 How to deal with pre-graduate stress

How to deal with pre-graduate stress

Picture of two male Centennial graduates strike a smile on convocation day

Even though the snow outside still deceivingly resembles Christmas weather, the calendar insists it is April. It means graduation is approaching quickly. To students, graduation means stress. In addition to school load and trying to find a relevant job, they face hesitation and uncertainty about tomorrow. Regardless of how difficult the lives of pre-graduate students may seem at times, there are effective ways to deal with pre-graduate stress.

Plan and prioritize

Graduation adds more tasks to already tight schedule such as, filling job applications, pulling together a portfolio and going to job interviews. Not to get lost in the variety of tasks, it is important to optimize your time and take advantage of every moment. Distribute tasks equally through the week and establish your priorities. Priorities are to be tackled first, try to take care of them earlier in the day.  There will be some days you won’t be able to finish everything planned. Realizing and embracing the fact that shortcuts are sometimes inevitable reduces anxiety over the workload. However, not to disrupt the learning process, you also need to have a good idea when shortcuts are acceptable.

Exercise

Athletic activities are among the best stress relievers for people who have a “go-go” lifestyle. Exercising helps clear the mind and focus better on the priorities. Concentrating on your body triggers your subconscious to resolve a problem you are currently facing. Very often, brilliant solutions come when you are not actively thinking of the problem.

In addition, sports is an effective way to let go of the negative emotions and charge up with positive energy. During physical exercises a hormone called serotonin is released. This hormone contributes to experiencing happiness and well-being. The more of it we have in our system, the brighter life appears. At the end of the day, it is much easier to be efficient when you are in a good mood.

Drink green tea, not coffee

Coffee is indispensible for many of us today. And the more we have to cope with during the day, the more coffee we seem to consume. Ironically, high caffeine dosages mean higher stress level. Caffeine stimulates the release of adrenalin and noradrenalin that results in high glucose level, accelerated heart rate and high blood pressure.

So, it is well worth reconsidering getting a coffee before an important meeting. Instead of coffee you might want to drink a cup of green tea, which will make you more relaxed, yet focused. However, if you are a coffee addict, cutting caffeine consumption will result in headaches. If you set your mind on decreasing coffee consumption, do it gradually by refusing the last cup of the day.

Find time to be happy

The normal pattern for our body is switching between high activity – during the day – and relaxation – at night. Our minds needs the same order: it can’t be constantly focused on problem-solving, it needs moments of serenity and happiness. Communication with loved ones ensures a positive emotional balance and prevents you from getting frustrated. Having happy moments with people you love eliminates the risk of burning out or getting depressed.  So leave some room in your schedule to meet with family and friends.

Breathe

Last, but not least, in dealing with stress is breathing. During the most stressful moments, take a deep inhale, close your eyes and mentally picture yourself taking control over a situation. Remember that having oxygen in your system is vital.

Graduation, though a busy and full of responsibilities period, is still a part of your life. One of the most important tasks to accomplish in life is being happy. So let’s not forget to live while graduating.

-Anastasia