How to De-stress Before College Graduation

Image Credit: Crashmaster007 via Flickr

Students graduating from college this year are under a little more pressure than their parents’ generation was. Eight percent of the population above the age of 25 is unemployed, according the United States Department of Labor. So prospective candidates have to work a lot harder to get noticed by hiring managers and human resources professionals.

Graduation is just around the corner for students at many universities, and some of those young hopefuls haven’t been offered full-time positions yet.

So what should they do? Pull their hair out, drink an unhealthy amount of Diet Coke or crack their knuckles. If this is you, don’t fret, because there are much healthier ways of relieving stress before graduation.

Acknowledge Your Accomplishments

It’s common for driven college students to rush along from one internship to the next without acknowledging all of their previous accomplishments. Our society places a great deal of emphasis on independence and producing results. So it’s difficult for students to apply to 20 jobs, and only get four responses. The entire job application process is kind of a numbers game.

So next time you get rejected from x company, or don’t hear anything at all. Let yourself appreciate everything you have accomplished during your college years like a high G.P.A., campus involvement, previous internships, relationships you’ve formed etc… Don’t discount those things, just because you’re stressed out about getting a job. If you put in enough effort, then your career will eventually fall into place.

Exercise Regularly & Eat Healthy

Networking and applying to jobs are inherently good things in themselves. Performing those activities demonstrates how ambitious you are. But when planning for your future career takes over your life, there’s a problem. Countless philosophers like Aristotle spoke about the importance of moderation.

So don’t allow your pursuit of a career to consume every fiber of your being. Be persistent, optimistic and confident. In the midst of the process, exercise regularly and eat three meals a day. As a former track/cross country runner, I can attest to the fact that running is an excellent way to relieve stress. For those who are hypoglycemic, eating protein consistently throughout the day is also important.

Take a Break from the Computer

Even if you have a lot of work to do, it’s important to take breaks from the computer.  If you’re applying to jobs, then set a two hour time limit. Once the time is up, then go outside for a 20 minute walk. Once you return to job applications, you will feel refreshed an energized. Allow yourself to take a mental break during your down time.

Make Time for Friends and Family

Friends and family function as a means of support during stressful times. If you’re family lives in another state, then give them a call every once in awhile. Sometimes simply hearing the voice of someone who cares about you can be remarkably soothing. Consider asking family members for advice regarding your job search. They’ve probably been through it before and know the ropes. Family is sometimes the voice of reason while friends are good at distracting us from our challenges. Once Friday comes around, take a break from your obligations if possible, and spend time with people you enjoy being around.

As you pursue your career goals, remember Aristotle’s words “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”


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