How I Manage to Handle Stress in Architecture School
Learning how to deal with stress in college is not an easy thing to try to do but it can be managed. Having to deal with a lot of things on my plate has helped me realize how to help myself and I’m sharing them with you in this post! Now a disclaimer, there will never be a guarantee for our experiences to help everyone. We just try things to figure out what works best for us.
Have you ever felt that you wanted to be in two places at once just to get more things done or because a lot of things are demanding your attention? Self-management and time blocking can help but sometimes, you just got to stop and breathe for a while. I personally have certain thoughts and prayers that help me calm down whenever a stressful situation arises. You might have them too! It helps a lot.
Before we learn how to deal with stress in college, we’d probably want to know that there are two types of stress: the good kind and the bad kind. To put it in layman’s terms, the good stress, we feel when we are excited, while the bad stress is when, well, it takes a toll on us.
Now, I’m no psychologist so if you want to know more about the two, you can look it up because they know better. My goal, however, is to be able to have that good stress on a daily basis. Yes, daily. Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up every day, excited? I hear some people are like that. Although I’m well aware that we can’t be happy all the time, it’s good to be mindful of what the bad stressors are and know how to respond to such.
For this post, I’ll assume you’re stressed because you can’t do what you want to do or you’re not getting the results you want. Whether it be good grades or a quality or quantity of your output, the stress might be there because you don’t think that what you’re doing is enough. So, how do we deal with it? How to deal with stress in college?
#1- With Confidence in Yourself
In any situation, there will be a possibility of comparing yourself to others. I understand this especially having been with architecture students who are massively talented, it was hard not to compare. With confidence, however, you won’t feel the need to. Having confidence means having fewer insecurities, having less anxiety, and more belief in oneself. The lesser bad mindset you have, the more room you’ll be able to make for the good ones. Now, how to have confidence in oneself?
Competence leads to confidence. Think about this, if you know you’re good at something, will you really feel insecure about it? Most likely, the answer is no. But how do we become competent at what we do? Practice. It’s not easy to master things but practice really is the key. Otherwise, we’ll get nowhere. Remember, practice leads to competence, and competence leads to confidence.
Although it is possible to have competence without confidence, I think there’s another mindset change we need to have. With that, we need to learn to recognize and accept the things that we can and cannot do, where we need to improve upon and give credit to whatever skills we have already acquired. Hopefully, these college tips will help you remember that it’s okay if your improvement takes time, that you don’t need to stress about rushing anything.
Related: 7 Tips to Keep Yourself Motivated
#2- With Patience and Knowing Yourself
We all make mistakes and it can get really stressful making a lot of them. We have to remember that the mistakes are part of the journey. They help us grow more resilient and learn better.
Patience, with oneself and others, is really a virtue and I think that one of its main benefits is having less stress with oneself. I’ve read a quote before, saying that patience is not about how long you wait but is about your attitude towards waiting. Good things take time. If you want to be good at what you do, it’s definitely going to take some time.
As college students presented with a ton of opportunities, we have to know ourselves well. Knowing your current skillsets help you gauge how fast you can learn and how long it will probably take. I think if there is one thing in common with most of us, it’s that we’re capable of learning and growing. When we’re aware of our current skillsets and at the same time aware of our goals, we can help identify which part of ourselves we want to improve on. Know that you can improve and that it’s okay if it takes time.
#3- Set Low Expectations but High Hopes
I consider expectations and hopes to be different from each other. Having expectations is being sure of things we don’t have control on while hopes are having huge faiths or belief of the best in things we can’t control. Let me explain it further. If I would have an exam in school and I choose to expect to perfect it, it means I’m most likely sure that it would happen. When I say I hope to perfect it, I am opening up to the possibility that it would happen but understand the fact that it might not.
I realized that when people get broken-hearted over different things such as relationships, achievements, careers, some end up losing their expectations and with it, their determination to do things. The loss of determination to do things is a dangerous path since it makes one person lose his willingness to put effort. We all know growth requires effort.
When I would hope, it’s like seeing a light amidst the darkness. Instead of making me depressed or lose my will to do anything, it reminds me that despite all the things that are happening, there’s still a possibility for better and brighter things. And that is why when I realized the difference of their meaning for myself, I started having low to no expectations but high hopes, making me happier, less judgemental of people and of things. For me, this meant less stress since I had fewer worries.
#4- With Letting Go and Letting God
Don’t fall into the trap of comparison, and don’t fall into the trap of always relying on other people’s words. Learning how to deal with stress in college involves having a calm and peaceful mindset. There have been times when people knew me for my successes and skills but there were also times when they’ve found out about my lacking or downfall.
Both experiences gave me much anxiety as I had always wondered what the people were saying about me. I realized, however, they probably couldn’t care less. If they did, it’s probably ’cause they’ve got nothing better to do (and that’s a sad thing!) So with this, I learned to let go of all the what-ifs and expectations of the people around me and started focusing more on what I think about myself and how I can love myself better. This would also allow me to spread more love to the people.
It’s especially easy to fall into the temptation of comparison in creative careers such as being an architecture student. It’s important to remind yourself that we are all different and therefore comparing really should be considered void. Why on earth will you compare an apple to an orange? Know your own level and the things you need to improve upon. You don’t have to know theirs.
I am a believer. I believe that in anything, my hard work is only half the job or half the key to any success. There are things beyond my control and therefore I really do need God to understand how to be successful or to know what I need to do in order to fulfill His will. At the end of the day, it’s about what HE wants and not really about what I want. Especially when it comes to things beyond my control, I let go and let God. You can leave your worries to Him because He’s got you.
#5- With the Love of People Around You
No matter how hard we try, we can’t do everything on our own. We’re not only meant to be independent but interdependent as well. Always remember that you are loved, someone does and someone will. It is also important for us to learn to love ourselves and not rely entirely on the love of others.
Always doing things on our own can also contribute to our feelings of being down. We’re not meant to be alone. I used to wait on others and see who really was there for me but eventually, I realized, this really shouldn’t be the case. It’s because of my love for myself why I decide to reach out and ask for help. If I know that what I know and what I’m doing is not enough, I ask the help of others. I realized that if we’re going through something, not everyone will notice and that’s okay! They might be going through some things as well.
When we surround ourselves with loving people, we’ll feel more secure. I think that feeling loved helps reduce stress as it helps us realize there are more important things than work, achievements, and others. Being surrounded by loved ones helps big time whenever I tried to figure out how to deal with stress in college.
How can you manage or reduce stress? (and how I do it too)
- With confidence in yourself
- With patience and knowing yourself
- Set low expectations but high hopes
- With letting go and letting God
- With the love of people around you
It’s important to note that I’m not a psychologist and that I’m just sharing what has been working for me for the past years. I really hope it helps you since the more advanced everything gets, the more demanding things seem to become. Let’s all continue to help ourselves and hope for the best!
What stresses you out? You can comment down below and feel free to share your tips on how to deal with stress in college as well!