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Managing Stress

Let’s face it – school is stressful!  As a non-traditional student, you likely have obligations outside of being a student.  Maybe you work full-time, or you are raising a family while going to school.  Maybe you’re a single parent, or have military obligations.  Whatever your situation is, your education is one more thing you’re trying to balance along with the rest of your life.  College should be challenging, but not overwhelming.

What are ways you manage stress?  How do you find the balance between school, work, and life?

Often our automatic reactions to stress are bad habits that result in the magnification of stress.  How do you interrupt the stress cycle?

STEP 1: FIND THE GOOD IN THE BAD.

You have to miss a PTA meeting because you had class the same night.  Focusing your attention on your studies at the present time is helping you better provide for your family in the future.

STEP 2: CONTROL YOUR INNER DIALOGUE.

You’re not a bad parent, you’re just as capable as any of the other students in the class, and you’re not too old to go back to school.

STEP 3: AVOID THE “BLAME GAME.”

You missed a deadline for turning in an assignment.  You had to travel for work that week, your kids were sick that weekend, and your instructor forgot to remind the class the deadline was approaching.  Who was responsible for turning in the assignment on time?

STEP 4: SHIFT YOUR FOCUS FORWARD.

Completing this course successfully gets you one step closer to graduation.

STEP 5: KEEP YOUR PROBLEMS IN PERSPECTIVE.

What does writing two 10-page papers mean?  Is it the end of the world?

CAMPUS RESOURCES

Sometimes taking a deep breath and following the earlier mentioned steps isn’t enough.  There are resources available to you as a student at Boise State University to help you manage your stress.  Taking steps to alleviate your stress before it becomes unmanageable is important.  Consider taking advantage of these campus resources:

Boise State Women’s Center

The Women’s Center offers a variety of support services for non-traditional students. Their licensed master social worker offers one-on-one non-traditional student consultations to discuss the transition back to school or any barriers you may be experiencing. To make an appointment, call the Women’s Center front desk at 426-4259 or stop by. The center currently employs a non-traditional student peer educator who works to provide events and programs for non-traditional students on campus. Check out their events page to see what programs they have coming up.  In addition to these support services the Women’s Center also houses lounges and net stations for students’ use, as well as a lactation room.

Campus Recreation Center

Campus Recreation enriches the university community by providing diverse recreational and leadership opportunities that foster personal growth and lifelong healthy habits.  There are a number of studies that suggest a positive correlation between physical activity and academic success.  Full-time student membership costs are included in student fees paid to the university (aka FREE membership!). Memberships are available to purchase for part-time students.

Health Services

Health Services provides the Boise State community with an integrated model of health delivery with a goal to retain, enhance, promote, and improve upon your physical, mental, and spiritual health. The Medical, Counseling, and Wellness departments provide highly skilled and licensed staff, specialized resources, and experiential learning opportunities.  You can stop in for a flu shot or have a doctor examine you when you’re not feeling well.  Counseling Services helps you tap into your strengths and find resources to deal more effectively with concerns that impact your pursuit of personal and academic goals.  Wellness Services empowers individuals in their lifelong commitment to health by providing comprehensive wellness resources to the campus community.  This includes massage services and health coaching.

Student Involvement and Leadership Center

The Student Involvement and Leadership Center works to build connections between Boise State students and the campus, the community and with other Boise State University students.  Part of finding balance in life is making personal connections.  Getting involved in a student organization or just attending a campus event provides an opportunity to connect with other students like you, and with the campus community as a whole.  Who knows, maybe you’ll have some fun while you’re at it!

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