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    26 Genius Tips For Keeping Your Shit Together In College

    You're not here to major in anxiety.

    We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community and a few mental health experts to share the best ways to handle anxiety in college. And they had some really great tips.

    Whether you suffer from overwhelming stress or Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), college can be a truly terrifying place when you add anxiety into the mix. But there are things you can do to help yourself. For starters, try these:

    1. Plan ahead if you need to skip a class so it doesn't lead to MORE anxiety.

    "ALWAYS make sure someone is taking notes for you and you know what you're missing if you skip a class. When you fall behind, it snowballs really quickly and you wind up a million times more anxious than you were the day you needed to skip."

    — Hannah Deering, Facebook

    2. Embrace procrastination if that's what works for you.

    3. Maybe consider not guzzling coffee, since that might be making you more anxious.

    Caffeine can exacerbate symptoms of anxiety (like increased heartbeat, fidgeting, etc.), so drinking too much of it could make things worse, says Regine Galanti, Ph.D., director of The Center for Anxiety in Brooklyn. If you really need your coffee fix, try cutting half your usual cup with decaf. Or go completely decaf — despite popular belief, that actually does still have some caffeine.

    4. Choose your classes strategically so you're not taking too many test-heavy/writing-heavy/project-heavy courses at the same time.

    Figure out what stresses you out the most — whether that's big papers, tests, presentations, or whatever — and balance your schedule accordingly, says Hambrick. For example, if studying for tests gives you a ton of anxiety, don't avoid exam-based classes — just balance out that class with others that require essays or projects.

    5. Switch up your study location every few hours.

    Studying tudying udying u dying U DYING?!?! COINCIDENCE? I THINK NOT.

    "It gives you a chance to take a break and get some air, but it also keeps you from feeling like you're in some miserable studying hell you can't escape."

    — Maggy Fitz, Facebook

    6. Step away from an assignment when you're getting too stressed.

    Nickelodeon / Via

    Doing something that will cheer you up is preferable (like watching an episode of your favorite half-hour comedy), but if you're on a tight deadline, even taking a productive break is better than nothing. "Find a task that's mindless but still useful to the cause, like going back and reorganizing your notes or rereading research you've done," says Hambrick.

    7. Find an organization method that works for you ASAP.

    8. Stop pulling all-nighters.

    porucz / Via

    You might think you're doing yourself a favor by staying up to finish an assignment, but you're just screwing with your body and potentially making your anxiety worse, says Galanti. So prioritize those Zs.

    9. Check out your campus resource center before you think you ~need~ to.

    Chris Ritter / Via

    "One of the best parts of being is college is the free counseling, therapy and support groups. That being said TAKE ADVANTAGE of this! Don't just go when you reach your breaking point or you feel like you're in crisis mode. Counseling is not just for when you are struggling."

    — Leigh Aschenbrenner Kozak, Facebook

    10. And if not, at least know when your anxiety is getting in the way of your life — and then seek out help.

    Charles M. Schulz / Via

    There's a difference between constructive anxiety and destructive anxiety, says Hambrick. Everyone is going to experience anxiety in college since it's such a transitional, stressful time. But if the anxiety you're feeling is getting in the way of your everyday life or disrupting your school work, social life, or sleeping or eating habits, it's probably time to bring in some help. And there's nothing wrong with that.

    11. Break up big projects into little, doable tasks so they're less overwhelming.

    BuzzFeed Life

    "Make a short list with little goals for the next few hours. Mine always starts out with 'wake up, brush teeth, comb hair, make coffee, read 10 pages of history.' Cross them out as you go. Finishing a short, but doable list will help you focus on one thing at a time and pump you up to complete the next small list."

    — Danielle Gatapia, Facebook

    12. Ask your professors how they suggest studying for their class.

    NBC / Via

    There's a difference between college study skills and high school skills, and chances are, you're going to realize that your study stills aren't actually so hot, Jan Collins-Eaglin, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Students for Wellness and Personal Success at Pomona College, tells BuzzFeed Life. There's going to be a learning curve for picking up the skills you need, but in the meantime, one of the easiest and most helpful things you can do is ask your professors, "What are your tips for studying for this class in particular?"

    You'll also get points for going into office hours. Win-win.

    13. Schedule time to relax — otherwise, you'll never get around to it.

    BuzzFeed Life / Via

    "It sounds stupid, but it's easy to feel guilty when you take time for yourself. Make it a nonnegotiable part of your schedule."

    — Caroline Smith, Facebook

    14. Ditto for seeing friends and socializing.

    15. Let your self cry so you don't bottle it all up and explode later.

    "Watch something that will make you cry. I find that I just bottle up all my stress and crying over something small like a YouTube video or movie will make you feel exponentially better. Letting out steam in small, insignificant, amounts is great for managing anxiety and you wont have a huge breakdown every few weeks."

    — Hali'a Ku'uleialohaonalani, Facebook

    16. Carry around a sketchbook or notebook to doodle in when you're feeling wound up.

    Makoto Shinkai / Via

    "I bring a sketchbook with me wherever I go so if I start thinking too much, I have something to distract myself with."

    — Erin Elizabeth Croley, Facebook

    17. Prep some playlists that help you chill.

    "I use music as a relaxation tool. I listen to different types of music depending on what I want to accomplish. Without my iTunes library I would be much more anxious and stressed."


    Like these 19 songs that will wash away your stress.

    18. Go outside for reasons other than getting to and from class at least once a day.

    Poeloq / Via Flickr: poeloq

    "Never underestimate a nice walk around campus with or without your favorite playlist. Sometimes it helps by being around others. You don't have to speak, and you aren't alone."

    — Sonika Sidher, Facebook

    19. Acknowledge your anxiety instead of pressuring yourself to have all your shit together all the time.

    "For me what helped best was just letting myself feel anxious. I know that sounds kind of strange, but at first I was putting so much pressure on myself to feel happy and study constantly and get to sleep at a decent hour that I was panicking, and getting nothing done because I was so overwhelmed. I was only able to actually feel good after I just let myself feel tense."

    — Maddie Jones, Facebook

    20. Give yourself a schoolwork curfew — at least a few nights a week.

    "I don't let myself do schoolwork past a certain time every day (usually 8 or 9). Any time after that I can just hangout with my roomates, watch Netflix or just veg out on my own. Knowing I have that time before I go to bed to just do whatever I need to do helps me keep it together."

    — Zoe Elpitha, Facebook

    21. Find a mindless ritual like prepping tea or counting beads that'll calm you down when you get wound up.

    — Mairead Hill, Facebook

    This list has some things you can do to help yourself chill out.

    22. Take five minutes each night to prep for tomorrow.

    23. Keep yourself busy during times when you're prone to overthinking and stressing yourself out.

    24. Get an app to help you feel like you have your shit together.

    Apps aren't replacements for professional treatment, but there are a ton that help manage everyday symptoms. Check out these apps for anyone dealing with anxiety.

    25. Pick at least one class a semester or quarter that's more enjoyable than it is stressful.

    NBC / Via

    "No matter what your major is, you have room to fit in ONE class that you take just for you. I took painting and it saved me."

    — Jessie Thomas, Facebook

    26. Know that it's OK if you're stressed and anxious sometimes — pretty much everyone is.

    Make sure to follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter for your chance to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts!

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