Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff (College Edition)

By Jill Scherr, Student at Academy of Art University

We all sweat the small stuff in various areas of our lives, whether we like it or not. The key is to not let it control our lives or get in the way of the really important stuff. Life is way too short!

One common place were we begin to sweat the small stuff is during college and here we look at five common scenarios that stress us out and some simple strategies to solve them so we can keep our eyes on the bigger picture: our dreams and our futures!

Bombing a Test
It happens to all of us. If your attendance at a party crept slightly higher on your priority list than studying for [feel free to insert killer class here], use your less-than-stellar grade to motivate you to ace your next test.

Some advice:
1. Realize if you've been to one party you've been to them all, then consult your monthly student loan payment if you need a reminder on what's at stake.
2. If it is the class itself that is giving you some hang-ups, a professor that you may not have clicked with or if you're wondering where the questions on the test/exam came from, try to schedule a meeting to discuss where you went wrong and see if you can get an extra credit project or a study buddy to compare notes with.

College Diet/Exercise
We all blow our eating habits due to such a drastic shift in our schedules. We have to rely on ourselves to eat and prepare meals most of the time, which can be a shock to your body when you are used to having meals being prepared for you.

Some tips to help:
1. Find a workout buddy.
2. Avoid keeping junk food around (out of sight, out of mind).
3. Walk to class/take the stairs/enroll in an fun exercise class on or off campus like zumba or cardio bar.
4. And remember to have a cheat day because everyone needs a break to indulge once in awhile and it's a good way to practice making/keeping a goal even if it is to have "Chocolate Saturdays" to look forward to!

Roommate Problems
Roommate drama happens to everyone, no matter if you're living with your BFF or a completely new acquaintance. If you are used to being an only child like me it, is a rude awakening to have someone invade your personal space.

Some tips for dealing with roommate drama:
1. Try to work things out first by talking with your roommate and addressing your concerns. It's better to talk with them directly rather than complain to others and have it get back to your roommate … so much less drama!
2. Speak to an advisor about your concerns.
3. Remember that sometimes personalities just don't mesh and that's OK!

Your goal is to have a mutual understanding to respect each other and try to make both your living situations as pleasant and equal as possible. That being said, if your situation is affecting your sleep and studying, by all means do something about it and get a new roommate. You are not only doing yourself a favor, but the other person as well. The sooner the better!

College is supposed to be a special a time in your life where you are learning about yourself and gaining independence, so don't spend it feeling unhappy, especially in the place where you need to eat, sleep and relax.

Declaring A Major
This is one of the biggest things we stress over because there is so much pressure to get it right and please everybody, including ourselves. Isn't it ALWAYS the first question we or our parents get asked in the grocery store? "How is Jane? What is she studying/majoring in?"

Some solutions:
1. Don't put pressure on yourself to declare a major during your first year if you are feeling unsure.
2. Talk to other students and alumni and ask for advice.
3. Try to take a wide variety of classes to help you decide your where your interests lie. You might be surprised with what you find!
4. Look for internships in your field of interest to gain some experience and see if it is the right direction for you to specialize in.

College Relationships
College majors might be the most important, but our hearts matter, too, and this definitely creates stress in our lives no matter what age we are. We all want to be loved and find love.

Some people find their true love in high school or college and live happy ever after, but that's not the case for everyone and if that doesn't happen for you,  don't stress about it. You have a whole life to live and enjoy, and the time will come when it's right for you, as cliche as it may sound.

Keep in mind that:
1. We all get our hearts broken.
2. There are millions more guys out there!
3. In four years is it really going to matter? It might seem like it now, but it's not worth it to mess up your future and everything you've worked for "over some guy."
4. College is just like high school except it's a bigger playing field. Did you ever hear that saying "Hollywood is like high school with money?" Well, so is college, except without the money.
5. Don't do anything you regret or will endanger your life or someone else's.
6. If you feel yourself or a friend is in a dangerous relationship, do the best you can to reach out and get some help to remove you or that person from the situation.
7. Think of your future.
8. Respect yourself.
9. Make this your motto: Keep it classy, you won't be sorry! 🙂

Image: David Castillo Dominici /

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