Column: Stress naps and cat GIFs: Dealing with the stress of college

If you’re swamped with homework, I’ve got several solutions, none of which actually involve doing your homework.

Classes are hard. College is hard. Let’s cut to the chase; life is hard. That shitty old adage does not do justice here. Stuck between a rock and a hard place? I am practically sealed in cement.

Homework and tests and commuting and roommates and the significant other (or others; I’m not here to tell you how to live your life) and money and finding a job and paying the rent and not missing the bus and keeping up with readings and writing columns and making unnecessarily long lists. All of that stuff.

It can wear on you.

There are many ways people cope with the stress of daily life. Regardless of what is actually healthy, there are a few ways I’ve discovered to deal with the crippling anxiety of being a college student.

1. Eat everything. One of my favorite ways of dealing with stress is to eat all the food in my house. This is especially fun if, like me, you are lactose intolerant. The best way to go about this is to yell, ”I have so much to do!” and then proceed to eat all the cheese you can find, and regret it later on when you’re writhing in bed hoping you don’t shit yourself.

2. Sleep. My wonderful roommate, Annie, recently introduced me to the “stress nap.” Her methodology goes something like this:

  • Step One: Pile all of your books into bed with you.
  • Step Two: Get out your planner. Write a list of all the things you have to do, complete with due dates.
  • Step Three: Think really hard about this list until you tip over and pass out for an hour.

3. Cleaning. Sometimes, when the going gets tough, you just have to freak out and scrub the entire kitchen from top to bottom. In fact, my roommates are so pleased with this coping mechanism that they will sometimes remind me of how stressed out I am and of how long my to-do list is in order to encourage me to fold their laundry.

4. Ignoring things. If you’re worried about all the things you have to do, just forget about them until a later date! Go do something else, like find GIFs of cats eating watermelon. Instant relief.

5. Online shopping. Who doesn’t love online shopping? Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s fun to go on the Internet when you should be writing your humor column (oops…sorry, Scott) and look at a bunch of things you’ll never be able to afford unless you get your shit together and actually graduate from college. Unfortunately, if the thing stressing you out is your impending rent payment, you may want to skip this one.

6. Call your mom/dad/grandparent/friend and cry. This is always a fun one. When there is a caring person there in your life, take advantage of their great listening skills and spill your heart out. In particularly lucky situations, this could even result in a care package coming your way complete with snacks, candy, chocolate, cakes, chips, cookies and other various foods. Unfortunately for me, these phone calls usually end with me being told to get off the Internet and do my damn homework.

None of these are particularly healthy coping mechanisms for the stressors of being a college student. For some actual resources with advice that you should follow, visit the Student Health Center website at for information on counseling, mental health and more.

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