Tips and Resources for Managing Stress

Dear Gettysburgian,

College students tend to experience April as an especially stressful month: you’re tired from the year, tired of classes, and often tired of each other,
yet there is still a lot to do before the warmth of summer and a break from the stress of being at school.

We want to pass along some ideas and resources that can help you through these stressful times.

1.       Take things one step at a time.  If you think about the mountain of work you have to do, you will become quickly overwhelmed.  Instead, focus
on one assignment or one responsibility at a time.  Step by step, everything will get done.
2.       Do what is hardest, FIRST.  With the hardest done, you can ease your way through the rest, without having the constant awareness that the really hard thing is still there waiting for you.
3.       Face your fears.  When you put off what you dread doing, you compound your stress.  You have the original stress AND the guilt associated with avoiding something you should be doing.
4.       Remember to have fun!!--just don’t overdo it or use partying to avoid your responsibilities.    Remember that too much partying at night can often mean a depressed or anxious mood the next day or a hangover and wasted day as your body recovers from the night before.  Think moderation.
5.       Keep things in perspective.  You’re stressed but you’re not going off to war tomorrow.  School is important, but it’s not life or death.
6.       Remember why you’re in college.  Is why you’re here aligning with what you’re doing?  If not, line things back up.
7.       Take care of yourself.  Your brain is in your body . . . if you want to think well and feel good emotionally and physically, you have to do the
basics: eat well, sleep regularly, and get some exercise.  Don’t dismiss the power of these three things just because they’re “easy.”
8.       Pray, meditate, or attend a worship service. There are weekly services on campus and in the local community.
9.       Remind yourself that you can do this!  You’ve handled stress before—in high school and in past semesters.  You got through it then, and you’ll get through it now.  And remember: we admitted you to Gettysburg because we know you can do this.
10.   Come de-stress with Zach, the Counseling Services dog, every Wednesday from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. in the CUB, from April 12 through Wednesday of finals week.  We will be by the bookstore downstairs or upstairs by Academic Advising and College Life.  Zach is pretty hard to miss, so come look for us.

Here are some campus resources you can use if you need help:

Academic Advising: 717-337-6579
Counseling Services: 717-337-6960
Health Services: 717-227-6970
Multicultural Engagement: 717-337-6311
Religious and Spiritual Life: 717-337-6280

If you need emergency assistance, please contact DPS at 717-337-6911. If you have concerns or thoughts about self-harm and/or suicide you can call DPS for assistance or reach out to the National Suicide Hotline by texting CONNECT TO 741741.

If you have a general concern about another member of our community, you can submit a Community Concern Form.

Please contact Counseling Services or the College Life Office at 717-337-6900 if you have any questions.


Kathy Bradley, Ph.D.                              Julie Ramsey, Ed.D.
Director of Counseling Services         Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students


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