Enjoy college by reducing stress

University students studying, from aboveAs a student in college, you may begin to experience different or new types of stress. Here are a few suggestions to help you navigate stress in your life.

The following results of the American College Health Association (ACHA) National College Health Survey report the top issues for UofL students are:

  • Stress (35%)
  • Anxiety (26%)
  • Sleep difficulties (25%)
  • Work (22.5%)
  • Minor illnesses (16%)

Stress and anxiety reduction tips 

  1. Keep a calendar: Not keeping up with your schedule can be very stressful. Keep a calendar of class times, including building/room number and associated reading/homework, study time, assignment due dates, test days and final exam times. Schedule everything on ONE calendar whether on your phone, online or on paper. Look at it often so you can be prepared. It works!
  2. Use an alarm clock in addition to the alarm on your phone.
  3. Go to class.
  4. Exercise regularly.
  5. Get enough sleep. You really need 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Students often like to stay up late and play video games, watch movies, etc. But getting rest is imperative.
  6. Take a yoga or mindfulness class. These have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety.
  7. Be realistic about work schedules especially during freshman year. Most students should take no more than 15 hours per week.
  8. If nothing seems to help, consider talking with a counselor, health educator or a provider at the campus health center.

Our goal at UofL’s Campus Health Service is to help students achieve their academic potential and goals. College is an expensive investment and getting sick jeopardizes students’ success. Illness can result in lower GPAs, failures and medical withdrawals. Tuition or dorm fees may not be reimbursable and in some cases students have to attend summer school or extra semesters to complete their degree.

Bottom line—staying healthy means you can keep your grades up.

This is the third post in a three-part series. Click here to read the first post on the vaccinations you should consider for college. Read part-two: How to have a healthy freshman year


If you need a physician, visit www.uoflphysicians.com/patient-care/find-physician or request an appointment online at www.uoflphysicians.com/request-appointment.

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About Phillip Bressoud, M.D.

Dr. Phillip Bressoud is the executive director for Campus Health Services and associate professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville. He serves as the physician champion for electronic medical records at UofL Physicians. He received his bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Kentucky and his medical degree from the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He completed his residency in internal medicine at UofL and served as chief resident prior to joining the faculty. He is board-certified in internal medicine and holds a certificate in clinical informatics. He currently is the governor of the Kentucky Chapter of the American College of Physicians.

All posts by Phillip Bressoud, M.D.