How to De-Stress: A Student’s Guide

How to De-Stress: A Student’s Guide

Everyone has stress in their lives, and it will only benefit them to learn how to manage that stress. Finding out what stress is and how it affects the body are important factors that can help hard-working scholars become more efficient learners and successful graduates.

Though there are many ways to prevent stress from becoming a burden to your ever-busy schedule, some of the tactics explored here might be eye opening and innovative. Student stress here at VVC comes with its own set of challenges as well as unique ways that students try to relieve the pressure. Speaking with local professors about the idea of stress and how it will change test scores is a good place to start.

Stress and test scores

Professors at VVC not only have graduate level stress, but they also have families, professional associations, and students to handle. Something many students don’t realize is that their professors have been in their shoes before. And they found ways to manage their stress!

We asked a very busy professor how they handle stress, keep stress at a minimum, and also  handle the burden of educating the youth of tomorrow.

Miss Heather Hammond-Williams, a child development professor, mother and wife offered some insight on how she handles stress these days and how she worked through it in the past. “Some days are better than others for me with balance,” said Hammond-Williams. 

“I typically give my children priority,” said Hammond-Williams. “I went to part time due to having my kids so I can have a schedule around their school schedule. I grade at night when they are asleep. If I have something work-related that needs to be done, then I ask my parents or family for some help with the kids.”


She also weighed in on some basics that students can do when they don’t feel like they are doing well. 

“Students should always reach out to their professors for clarification and assistance on items,” continued Hammond-Williams. “Professors really don’t know there are issues unless a student lets the instructor know. Students should try their best and complete all assignments to be successful in courses.”

Coping strategies

What about prioritizing tasks as a stress-management strategy?  

I typically try to do the tasks that must be completed then move on to items that are not as crucial,” said Hammond-Williams. “I make sure first assignments get back soon, so it helps the remaining assignments.”

Student tips

But what about students? How are they handling stress?

Erin Braun, who recently finished her AA and will graduate in the spring commencement, was able to share her busy schedule, what she does to destress, and last ditch efforts to save her sanity.

“I work for my church, Thai box [actual boxing, as in the sport], and help my mom with DIY,” said Braun. “That can be a packed schedule when coupled with full-time classes.” 

Family responsibilities, work and school as well as social obligations can be quite a lot to handle. Braun has strategies for handling that, as well. 

“I take time to just lay down and watch Netflix, be with my own thoughts, or just be in my own little bubble,” she said.

Downtime is important for clearing the clutter from one’s brain and allowing new information to enter and be processed.

She also provided a final, real, and raw notion on how to continue to be human, “Crying really helps though,” said Braun. “When I get angry or stressed, I let myself cry and then watch Netflix.”

Though crying may seem like sad or upsetting thing to some, the act can actually help reduce stress in college attendees. In fact, according to Lana Burgess of Medical News Today, there are several benefits to releasing those tears. One of the most important benefits that relates to stress is that when humans cry in response to stress, their tears contain a number of stress hormones and other chemicals. 

Researchers believe that crying could reduce the levels of these chemicals in the body, which could, in turn, reduce stress. More research is needed into this area, however, to confirm this. (Burgess, 2017) So go ahead and cry that stress away if you choose to.

Another student, Shree Baez, not only goes to school, she works as a waitress, commutes a far distance, and is a new homeowner. While working and going to school far from her new home, she still finds time to exercise, eat well, and keep up with her social life. “Well, I absolutely love the gym and find it to be one of the best stress relievers,” said Baez. “When in doubt, squat it out. I also found out that whacking a few tennis balls really does the trick.”

Stress and balance

While looking at professional opinions on how to relieve stress, your own stress levels may shoot through the roof due to the large amount of suggestions.

The best overall advice is to find something that works for the individual, however. If it is too difficult to decide on an activity, here are a few highly recommended things to help get organized, manage time and kill it this semester.

According to Dartmouth University, the first and easiest thing to do is to balance your hard work with some easy down time. 

Next, they say that you should know and accept your strengths and weaknesses. This will allow you to seek help where needed and to lead you to the things that you are best at. 

Finally, it is suggested to take time outs. Try not to cram too much into your brain at once and find a support system that stands behind you to keep things going smoothly. 

Stress is definitely something that can cause a lot of issues in any student’s life, but it is important to use coping mechanisms and find downtime whenever possible. Now get out there and get those online papers written!


Burgess, L., 2020. 8 Benefits Of Crying: Why Do We Cry, And When To Seek Support. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 March 2020].

Fleming, Rachel, and Channing L Bete. “Academic Skills Center.” Stress Management | Academic Skills Center,

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