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Just three months ago, you were standing on stage, receiving your high school diploma. The thrill of completing your high school education seems like a distant memory, now that you are completing your first month at college. While you were excited about starting classes, you never anticipated the amount of stress you would encounter. At times, you might feel as if you will be buried alive by stress.

You should know that the feeling of being stressed out is nothing unusual for a college student. To begin with, it might be your first time away from home. You miss your parents, your brothers and sisters, your friends. You miss the comfort of the family dwelling, the commemoration of birthdays and other special events. You might even miss the extra-curricular activities you enjoyed at your high school.

There is the stress of trying to do well in academically challenging college classes. You might feel overwhelmed by the amount of reading you have to do. You might not have developed strong study skills in high school, leading to greater stress at college. You may even find it difficult finding a place to study—especially if you're not used to spending long periods of time in the library.

You might also be dealing with the stress of having to live with roommates for the first time. Your roommates might not share your values, your interests, or even your sleeping patterns. If you have more than one roommate, you might feel outnumbered. If you were an only child, you might not be used to the stress involved in sharing a bathroom or a common study area.

Also, you might be dealing with the stress of your first serious relationship. You might not know how to handle conflict effectively. And you might be wondering whether you have become too serious too soon with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Also, finding the time to spend together can be a real challenge, given all the other demands on your time.

You might also be stressed out by the part-time job you have to work in order to support your studies. Your duties might be demanding, and the hours you have to put in may be interfering with your sleep. You might also be dealing with the stress of having to get along with difficult co-workers.

There is no way to eliminate all the stress involved in attending college. This time of your life will be inherently stressful, no matter how you try to streamline your schedule. However, there are some effective techniques you can use to reduce your stress level so that the pressures do not seem so overwhelming.

To begin with, you need to develop effective time management techniques. This means creating a schedule and sticking with it. Be sure to build some relaxation time into your schedule. That way, you can ensure that you are getting an appropriate amount of rest and exercise.

One thing that can add to your stress level is weight gain. College is famous for the "Freshman 15," or adding 15 pounds to one's frame during the first year of classes. In order to combat this, try to eliminate unhealthy snacks such as potato chips and cookies. Try to limit your diet to lean meats and fish, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Try whenever possible to avoid eating at parties. And don't overindulge in alcohol, which can add an appreciable amount of weight. In this way, you can try to protect yourself against excessive weight gain.

College is one of the most memorable periods in anyone's life. The knowledge you gain can be incredible. You can forge friendships which will last a lifetime. You might find your mate, or develop a life-long hobby. And yet, college is a time fraught with tension. You have to please your professors, your roommates, your friends, and employers. You have to take on adult responsibilities for the first time, such as paying your bills. Each day is filled with a myriad of stresses. However, by building in appropriate coping techniques into your daily schedule, you can develop the skills you need to handle stress effectively. In the end, you might earn a grade of A for your stress management ability

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