Stress affects everyone differently, and coping with stress is unique to the individual. As classes get harder and graduation looms a semester closer, many students see their stresses manifest and impact their academics. Oftentimes in college students, stress can lead to procrastination.

“When I get super stressed, I tend to shut down and avoid whatever is causing it. Stress causes me to procrastinate, which I know happens to a lot of people,” said Sarah Ahlers, a senior majoring in biology in the College of Science.  

Even the change in season can be difficult for students.

“I’m honestly not looking forward to the cold weather. Walking in the cold definitely makes it hard to go to class, especially in the morning,” said Ahlers.

The remainder of the winter season can be bitterly cold and make it hard to want to attend class, also impacting your academic performance as well as your overall health. However, when students take classes they like and find interesting, they are more likely to attend despite circumstances.

“It makes school seem more like something I want to do and not have to do. Classes that I like and specifically relate to my career always make it seem worth it,” said Evan Spradling, a senior majoring in national security and foreign affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

There are many healthy ways to deal with the inevitable stressful days ahead. For some students, physical exercise helps strengthen both their mental and physical states.

“Some of the ways I deal with stress include talking to my friends about whatever is stressing me, going for a walk or run to clear my mind, and doing self-care,” said Ahlers.  

Exercise is a great way to deal with the stress of the semester, but for others, stress management may include meditation, a simple hang out with a close friend, knitting, spending time outside, or reading for enjoyment. It is important for college students, now more than ever, to find the right balance between responsibility and taking care of themselves.

However you deal with stress, it is important to remember your time at Virginia Tech is short, and it will be over before you know it.

“My advice to others would be to complete your assignments at least a day before they are due, I know it’s hard, but it truly is the key to being less stressed. I would also suggest enjoying every moment at Virginia Tech because it really does fly by,” said Ahlers.

Virginia Tech is committed to the well-being of every member of the campus community, especially students. To find a community and explore departments dedicated to helping you thrive, visit the Health and Wellness page under Campus Life on

Written by Caroline Reed, a senior and an intern for Virginia Tech Communications and Marketing

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