Turn Stress into Success with these Lifestyle Tips

By University of Northern British Columbia Modified on October 12, 2018

Stress is only a 6-letter word. Learn how to conquer it!


Going to University isn’t just about education. You’re on your own in a new home and intense learning environment, dealing with a bigger campus, but without your usual comforts. Coping with simultaneous changes can be tough.

Stress results from things which strain, challenge, or ‘threaten’ your comfort levels. Whether triggered by an event, interaction, illness, or something else, stress can manifest as sleeplessness, worry, abnormal behavior, decreased physical and mental functions, disease, and more.

Although stress is part of normal life, excessive stress isn’t healthy. But how do you reduce it, or prevent it? Here are tips to develop life-long strategies against stress and its symptoms.

1. Fast-track learning whenever possible. You’ve heard ‘Knowledge is Power.’ With even a little background or wisdom, response to a new situation, person or job is less challenging. No matter what you may be facing, research gives you pre-knowledge, which limits how much strain you encounter.

2. Take time and energy to support good health. Science says ‘you are what you eat’. Yes, chips fill the void in a rush, but that’s not healthy all the time. Plan comforting, warm meals. Oatmeal is fast, and complex-carbs provide a strong start to your day. Add almonds to breakfasts and salads for Vitamins E (anti-oxidant) and B (brain food). Snack on fruit—Vitamin C (anti-oxidant) boosts immunity, because who has time for a cold?

3. To eliminate strain and challenge, LOOK AHEAD. Effective planning is one of your best weapons against stress. It’s about more than sleep too. No one is the smartest when they’re tired. A rested mind and body are stronger and more flexible. Who learns and retains information when their brain is foggy? Snuggle in and get that full night’s sleep, before you’re exhausted!

4. Planning is smart. Up-front knowledge about a new endeavor will reduce possible challenges, and therefore stress!

  • Using University as an example: before you start first year classes, try to visit the institution to familiarize yourself with class room locations, and things like student resources. It saves time to know where you’re supposed to go!
  • If you haven’t decided which University to attend, research is your friend. Can you plan a tour, or attend an Orientation? A unique program available at University of Northern BC is the “Student For A Day” which allows you to tour campus, dig in to your program of interest, enjoy a free meal, and sit in on a class—and when you register as a student, some travel expenses get reimbursed!
  • Day seminars like Discovery Day welcome parents and students and provide face-to-face experience so you can choose the best institution for you.
  • Technology is awesome! Go on-line for a virtual tour. Phone a Recruiter or Advisor and talk about the programs and courses you’re interested in. Find out about Scholarships you qualify for, and email the Financial Aid Office about how to apply.
University is about Life Skills. Live large, ask questions, explore student resources, and enjoy learning like never before! Grow into the discipline and career that suits you. Life is more than a paycheck—establish good habits now, and be fulfilled later. Maximize your SELF, and become your best at UNBC!

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