With the end of the standard school year fast approaching, now is a transitional time for people enrolled in varying forms of education. Whether you’re about to graduate from college, are a rising high school freshman, or an alternative student getting your GED or pursuing a degree later in life, graduation can be a stressful and anxiety-inducing time as you try to uncover the parts of your path yet to come.
No matter where you are in life, it’s important to have a game plan for your future. You don’t need to know exactly what you’re going to do for the rest of your life; it’s simply best to have some sort of idea about what you intend to start. Nor do you need to build your life according to other people’s standards or expectations. All you need to do is work to create a lifestyle that brings you happiness and fulfillment. A vital part of maintaining a healthy mind is being honest with yourself and pursuing the life you want to live. The world is full of opportunities, and there are countless developments in your future that you aren’t even aware of yet. Take a deep breath, remember that everything is going to work out, and get started on building your life.
Stop Obsessing Over the Future and Focus on the Present
As you focus on your future, take the time to make a list of the things that are worrying you. Your list might include your next assignment, which school you will attend, or even what your next job will be. If you’re like most people, you’ll notice that most of the things you’re concerned about exist in the unforeseeable future. Constantly obsessing over your future and what it will be like can push you to unhealthy levels of stress, depression, and anxiety. Going down that road will damage your motivation and impair your progress in the present.
Instead of obsessing over the future, tackle your long-term goals one step at a time. Going just about anywhere in life will require an attitude of proactivity and cognizance. Don’t expect your desires to simply fall into your lap. If you want a house, a new car, or a family, you’ll have to make a plan and act accordingly to reach your desired results. Resist the urge to get it all figured out now and try taking the first step. Working on what you can achieve at the moment can help you take a break from long-term concerns and keep you from feeling lost in possibility. Don’t let your expectations get the best of you. Take time to focus on the present to help you stay grounded and prevent you from overloading your mental health.
Don’t Let Stress Interfere with Your Education
Whether you returned to education to advance your career, explore your passions, or simply start a new chapter in life, approaching graduation as a non-traditional student can cause you to ask some deep questions about your future. Don’t succumb to the mental inclination to stress out over what’s coming next for you – not because of your age, station in life, point in your career, or for any other reason. Scores of non-traditional college students find success and growth after graduation or course completion.
According to the American Psychology Association, 41% of college students in the United States suffer from anxiety, and 35% deal with depression – and those statistics are pre-COVID-19. Between a demanding workload, balancing your many obligations, and worrying about your future, it can be easy to become mentally overburdened. You’re investing in your future stability and success by enrolling in college courses now; don’t sabotage that future by worrying excessively about the present.
Managing Your Mental Health as a Non-Traditional Student
To reduce your daily stress as a student, you can start by changing some simple habits. One of the most crucial traits you can develop in college and beyond is to be organized. No matter who you are or what your circumstances may be, organization and mental discipline can help you balance all your responsibilities and keep moving forward with confidence. Staying organized can allow you to fend off anxiety and focus on the present, making you more productive and less wrapped up in hypotheticals.
As a non-traditional student, you may find yourself juggling your roles as parent, caretaker, spouse, bookkeeper, and student, in addition to trying to find time for yourself. Make use of a physical planner or utilize a digital calendar on your phone. Having notifications and reminders can keep you on track, and the ability to lay all your out involvements before you can give you peace of mind and help you understand what you must do to succeed.
College and personal education can be stressful for anyone, and especially non-traditional students. There’s no cutoff date for striving to improve as a person and seek new forms of success. No matter your age, background, or circumstances, you don’t deserve to be excessively hard on yourself or become overwhelmed by stress. If you’re finding it challenging to overcome self-doubt and negative thoughts on your own, reach out for professional help. HealthyU can help you get back on track to lasting by learning to reduce stress and anxiety. We offer comprehensive training techniques that provide positive living strategies to prepare you for whichever lifestyle you choose, from nontraditional education to breaking free of addiction and mental illness. Let our experienced staff help you work through your roadblocks and develop stronger skills for healthy living. Contact us today at (619) 542-9542 to learn more about how we can help you become your best possible self.