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6 Tips to Minimize Back to School Stress: College Edition

Another school year has begun and we are off to a GREAT start.  As exciting as heading back to school is, it can also be quite stressful. Those good habits you help your kids develop now will come in handy later when your kid heads off to college.

My niece started college this year and there has been a little anxiety and understandably so.  College, just like any other back to school experience can be a little stressful.

Here are six tips to help minimize back to school stress for your kid whether they're just starting kindergarten or heading off to college like my niece.

1. Gather Your Supplies

My kids were scouts for all of one, maybe two years.  The one takeaway is ALWAYS BE PREPARED.  Ever wonder why back to school shopping season starts BEFORE the school year? It's so parents can buy their kids most of the supplies they'll need before heading back to school.  Trust me there's nothing worse than a late night trek to Wally World for a poster board and a glue stick for an assignment that's due tomorrow. 

Make sure your kid has all of their supplies beforehand.  Of course college students will need basic school supplies like pens, pencils and paper but they'll need to stock up on other essentials like deodorant, laundry detergent, sheets, towels, cleaning supplies, toothpaste, etc. 
Fashion by Koral Activewear

2. Get Some Sleep

You can ask anyone in my family and they will tell you I do not slack when it comes to getting a good night's rest.  We're a "lights out by 9" kinda family.  I remember one time my son spent the night at a friend's house and when I went to pick him up, his friend's mom remarked that my kid was out like a light by 10.  She was so surprised.  I was surprised also, I mean he's usually out by 9.  

Parents set a bedtime for your little ones and stick to it. Developing good sleeping habits when kids are young will help will help them maintain a regular, relaxing sleep routine when they're older. 

College can be a lot of fun.  You're away from your parents. You make your own rules.  You're doing your own thing.  Just don't make the mistake of signing up for that 8 o'clock class when you know you are not a morning person.  We're only week 3 into classes and my kid learned the hard way.  He woke up late for his early morning class and got to class to find the door locked.  His professor has no tolerance for tardiness.  Lesson learned.

Get Some Fresh Air
My kids are heavy gamers and my husband and I have always stressed the importance of time away from the screen.  When they were little it was easy.  We could take the bikes out of the garage and go for a bike ride.  Or go for a walk around the neighborhood.  

My niece talked about joining a gym while in college. I was surprised she didn't know there was a HPER Center (Health, Physical Education and Recreation) aka gym on campus and it's included in her tuition.  The school even offers exercise classes, yoga and water aerobics.  The campus has a sports equipment lending library where students can rent bikes, canoes, hiking,  rock climbing gear and more.  

My niece will rock her Koral Activewear on campus that's for sure. Koral is stylish and perfect for active lifestyles like ours.  The fabric holds its shape, keeps its color wash after wash and moisture wicking fabric to keep us dry when exercising or making the trek cross campus. 
4. Talk About the Day
Dinner time is usually our time to talk about the happenings of the day.  I enjoy hearing how my kids day went and when they got older and started asking me about my day... OMG, best feeling ever. Talking about the day helps you decompress from the stresses of the day.  It helps foster effective oral communication skills in a world where most of us communicate non verbally.

These skills will definitely come in handy when your kid enrolls in the Speech Communications course nearly every student has to take.  

5. Embrace the New
I was a military kid.  We moved around a lot.  I attended 3 high schools. Yes 3 Moving around helped me learn adaptability skills.  Of course starting school for the first time or starting a new school can be a little scary.  One way to help students as they navigate a new school is to encourage them to join activities or clubs that interest them.

My niece's college held an Activities Fair the first week of college.  The fair was a great way to introduce students to the various clubs and available services on campus.  My niece is a budding photographer and signed up for the Photography Club. My son signed up for the EA Sports Team and was selected to participate in an upcoming gaming event.  Both are doing something they enjoy and they're meeting new people.  
6. Just Breathe
When my kids were toddlers my mom would have them practice deep breathing.  I always thought it was just something cute but truth is there are so many benefits to taking a few deep breaths.  

Deep breathing slows the heart rate, reduces anxiety and relieve stress. Deep breathing is key in several yoga exercises and even when lifting weights.  One of the local elementary schools recently began an after school yoga class and pranayama or deep breathing exercises is one of the first classes they help students master.  Instructors say this helps students in and outside the classroom.

College can be stressful. It's a new experience and it's important to let your kid know you are proud of them.  Trust them to use the skills you've taught them over the years.   

Parents, encourage your kid to enjoy their college experience!  


melissa chapman said…
These are all great tips.I can apply them to my daughter who is a senior in high school. With tests and college application it is very stressful.
candy said…
If all parents and kids do all of your ideas the school year will be wonderful and fly by. Getting plenty of sleep is very important especially with new college students.
Ronnie said…
Great tips! College can be stressful, especially for those of us who are naturally anxiety-ridden. Sleep and fresh air definitely helps.
Heather D said…
Not looking forward to sending my kids off to college. Thankfully it's a long way away.
Bonnie G said…
These are all really great tips. Getting sleep is something some.of my older kids need to work on.
Heather Jones said…
Good tips! I love to plan throughout the summer so the last few weeks aren't too stressful. Thankfully my kids' school already has the new year's school supply list out over the summer and that is really helpful so you don't have to buy everything all at once. Definitely getting good sleep and some fresh air helps ease some of that stress.
Cathy Mini said…
These are very helpful tips for my sister, I think it will relieves her stress in school. Thank you for sharing it for us.
Masshole Mommy said…
My step son just started grad school, so we've been through the back to school thing with him already. It is overwhelimg because he needed everything to live in a dorm, not just regular school supplies. And it costs triple when you have to buy them all that extra stuff LOL.
AiringMyLaundry said…
Awesome tips. We'll be in this situation in about 2 years when my son goes to college. I remember being nervous when I first went, but I ended up loving the freedom.
Alli Smith said…
I well remember when my kids were in college. I was in shock when I saw the prices of the textbooks they needed. These are all great tips to help your child get ready for college.
Glenda Cates said…
My son is only in Elementary School but we would shop for supplies throughout the Summer so we wasn't overwhelmed once school began. To get a fresh start and make sure he is awake in the mornings we do a 10 minute walk before he heads into school. Which allows him to wake up and for us to discuss our expectations of the day.
candy said…
Having a good start to any type of school year is extremely important. Doesn't matter if just starting kindergarten, middle school, high school or heading off to college. All your tips are very useful and helpful.
Terri Steffes said…
These tips will definitely help those students off to college. I have a neighbor who got sick her first week there, and had to take medical leave her first semester. Stress is a real thing!
Lisa said…
These are all great tips for back to school. College or not. I agree with the plenty of sleep. It is so easy to stay up way too late.
Sarah Bailey said…
These are some great sounding tips - the back to school time can be a nightmare and making sure you are as pre-prepared as possible is a big thing.
tiarastantrums said…
I worry about the time when my son will begin college. He is super shy and will become a hermit I am afraid. He wont 'have me reminding him to all the things he should
Sue said…
I will be going through the back to school thing in January next year when our new school year starts over here. It does get overwhelming and your tips really will help. Awesome that your niece now knows about the campus gym and will be making use of it.
ricci said…
AMEN to be prepared!! I always loved getting all my books, notebooks, pens an pencil, highlighters and everything before I needed it because it made me feel good walking into class and knowing I had everything I needed.
Kita Bryant said…
Staying composed is really important. Things can stack up fast, but anyone can handle it!
SimplyTasheena said…
I really love all of the tips you've provided. It's so important to embrace the new and communicate about happened during the school day.
Heather D said…
Summer offers a nice break but now we're ready for the routine. I like the quite when the kids are in school.
Pam said…
Sending kids off to college is hard. These are great tips... college kids should definitely embrace the new and getting involved in clubs is a great way to do that.
I think we could all use some more sleep and fresh air in our lives!
Louise said…
I took my daughter out of school last year as she was being bullied, so she's taking her GCSEs at college this year. I've noticed that she's a lot more tired than she was in a school environment. She's usually in bed before her little brother these days! Thank you for sharing your tips. We will definitely be taking them :)

Louise x
Rachel said…
I remember crying because I was so overwhelmed on my first day of college classes. I was completely unprepared.
Glam Karen said…
It can get just as crazy when you're a teacher. I think these tips are very helpful. Getting ready for the new school year shouldn't be stressful at all. Hope a lot of people get to read this post!
Chubskulit Rose said…
Thinking of college makes me worry a little bit. These are great tips though so thank you, I would keep this in mind.
These are great tips! My kids still has a long way to go before college but some of these tips are already applicable. Thanks!
CrescentFire said…
these are such helpful tips! It makes me remember when I was still in college and it can really get overwhelming. Your pointers here will definitely help!

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