The final weeks of the spring semester can be one of the most stressful times for students. Finals, summer plans, job options, graduation -- not to mention regular coursework and the other day-to-day tasks that college life requires -- somehow seem to pile up all at once.
Articles that deal with college stress are consistently among the most popular on the site. (Just so you know you're not alone!) If you need some help, check out the following:
Additionally, my book -- "College Stress Solutions" -- is now available at major retailers, like Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com. Remember, too, that your counseling center can be a great resource if your stress is feeling overwhelming or you just need to process through all that's on your plate. Don't be afraid to use what you can to help you make it through this part of the semester. There's nothing wrong with asking for help, but there's definitely something silly about needing help but not getting it.
Whether you've just been accepted into college or are looking at your senior year, the About.com College Life newsletter is here to help. It's free, it comes out every Monday, and it gives you all kinds of tips, tricks, and information about making your college life easier. Signing up is super easy, too.
If you'd like to see what the newsletter is like, check out some of this semester's issues:
You know how you are surfing the web, reading things here and there, and then you suddenly stumble upon something absolutely stellar? Even though you can't remember how exactly you found it? That's how I came across this week's Campus Highlight.
Emily Stott, a student at Brandeis University (Waltham, MA), wrote an excellent piece discussing the need for students to practice an ethic of care -- including self-care -- during their time in school. Even though the stress of being in college can be overwhelming, she believes that "it's up to individuals to make a small difference every day, checking in on their friends and students, to change a culture of working harder to one of working smarter." She notes that the I'm-so-stressed-out college culture can often perpetuate itself, and that everyone has a responsibility to curb, when possible, that kind of frenzied normalcy.
I love her piece so much because it embodies so much of what can often become lost amidst the hustle and bustle of college life: Empathy. Compassion. Citizenship. Sure, it helps to be dedicated to your studies, to aim for a high performance, to even use competition as a motivator. But it's also important -- incredibly important -- to take care of each other, and yourself, along the way. Thank you, Ms. Stott, for reminding us of that in such a beautifully written piece.
(Each Monday during the academic year, I feature a "Campus Highlight": a unique, interesting, and noteworthy student organization, program, or initiative that demonstrates the amazing things college students do each and every day across the country.)
If you'll be entering the workforce when you graduate this year, you likely are concerned -- and reasonably so -- about what your job prospects are looking like. After all, it's hard enough to find a job, much less find a good job with great benefits and a nice salary.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers just released some information about the starting salaries for 2014 graduates. As the report notes:
The reporting year for the college Class of 2014 begins with an overall average starting salary of $45,473. Although this salary is 1.2 percent higher than the April 2013 starting salary of $44,928 reported for the Class of 2013, the increase is considerably lower than the more than 5 percent increase predicted for graduates at that time.
What does this mean for you? In essence: Keep your head up. Get your application materials together. Be open to whatever opportunities come your way. And, perhaps most importantly, head to the career center to make sure you're doing as much as you can to set yourself up for the perfect job offer!