How To Deal with Stress

By: Sai Igiede, Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences Well-being Leader

Hello, a lot of you  know me, and a lot of you  don’t, so I might as well introduce myself. My name is Nosagiegbon Igiede, but I go by Sai to almost everyone.

I am here to talk about stress. I am someone who stresses a lot! Whether it’s surrounding my major or what I’m going to eat for dinner, I constantly stress. It’s something I have always struggled with and still do; however, I do manage it very well, and I want to help you by telling you how I destress from pretty much everything and anything.


I love to journal. I journal for a lot of reasons. Sometimes I write down dates and times for classes, and other times it becomes a creative outlet for me to express my feelings. I was actually recommended journaling by one of my long-term friends; he says that journaling is kind of like a book in your mind. Whether you choose to show the world or keep it to yourself, it should be a safe space to express yourself. This resonated with me for a couple of different reasons. Since I stress out about varying things, writing my thoughts down helped validate my stress in a way. It helped me find a balance between stressing over long-term goals and short-term ones, which is a big part of being stressed. But sometimes journaling isn’t for everyone, which is totally fine.


As much as I stress, I still try to find time to decompress by being alone. I know that it can be scary to relax alone for some, which is totally understandable. When I first started relaxing, whether it was in my dorm or even outside, I did it with friends who also needed to destress. Every time I would destress, it would be different. On some days, I would play video games for a few hours with my hometown friends. Other times I would watch the sunset on south campus with my colleague and talk about life and general issues, which for some is a great outlet.

Sleeping and maintaining a healthy mindset

Lastly, one thing I try to keep consistent with in college is the ability to sleep and have a clear mind. Now you are probably thinking, “Sai, I am taking a crazy amount of credits. How am I going to maintain a good sleep schedule and study?” Now, this is what I am going to tell you: Just sleep. I know it sounds weird, but sometimes sleep is what you need. If you deprive your body of the things you need, it will only negatively affect you. This directly correlates with mindset. Try to change the way you think about college. Instead of dreading classes and negatively speaking things into existence, try to first change your language and tone. For example, instead of saying, “I really don’t like this class,” try saying, “Why don’t I like this class? Is it the material I am not understanding? How can I personally improve?”.

One thing I want you to know is that it’s okay to take a break. Whether it is for 10 minutes or an entire mental health day, just know that it’s okay to not be studying all day every day. It is okay to not get a perfect score on a test or not have 100 friends by the end of the month; college is hard for a plethora of reasons. It’s okay to not have everything figured out.