Second Time Around: Stressing Out? I’m Here to Help


What is life really like as a transfer? Join me as I figure out the answer to this question! My name is Rachel Gross and this is my Second Time Around.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner which means the winter holidays are quickly approaching. Bring on spreading Christmas cheer, eating Thanksgiving food, and enjoying relaxation from the hustle and bustle of a Brown student’s life! What does this also mean? Exams. Stress. Finals. Stress. Last papers. Little sleep. Too much caffeine. Stress. Today, my dear readers, we are talking about stress and, more importantly, how to de-stress.

Being a student at Brown has its anxieties attached. The homework can quickly pile up. Social time becomes a thing of the past. Exhaustion kicks in before you have a chance to actually sleep. Being a transfer student has some different stresses attached as well. I find myself anxious over thoughts of declaring my concentration (more to come on this topic in the next post!), becoming more involved in various clubs and organizations on campus, using my shorter-than-an-average-first-year-student’s time on campus as wisely as possible, and always pondering if I am smart enough for this. Stress can transform a bubbly and optimistic student into one drawn down by the weight of his or her worries. It can make you feel constantly anxious and forever just wanting to stay locked in your dorm room. However, we cannot let stress pull us down. There is too much to do at Brown, too many people to meet, and too many memories to be made. But what do I do, Rachel, if the stress of attending Brown is too much? I am here to tell you it will never be too much. And here are some steps I have been putting into my routine in order to keep healthy, happy, and not quite as burdened by stress since beginning my journey here.

  1. Whatever you do, buy yourself a planner and write everything down. Everything? Yes, everything. I would be lost without my endless to do lists and scheduling checks. My planner keeps my days and my life in more order than my mind or my cell phone can do. Things become lost in technology. I have too much else on my thoughts. Events and meetings and due dates would become lost in the jumble, but not if you buy and use a planner! I can keep track of class scheduling, important meetings with professors and clubs, work schedules, and the all important homework items. And, if you are doodle-y or crafty, you can make your planner a piece of art to attract your attention and make it fun to actually fill it in!
  2. No matter how busy you are, make sure to get yourself some you time. Self-care Saturdays anyone? This is such an important, and easily forgotten, rule. Daily stress can keep your mind pre-occupied on everything you should be doing and need to get accomplished. Time spent for yourself is pushed off because you could use that extra half hour to finish a paper. But spending a few minutes a day on yourself keeps you on a better mental, physical, and emotional path in order to be more productive at other times. Take 20 minutes a day to watch your favorite Netflix show. Use your lunch time to sit and breath. I have personally found that taking an hour or two every weekend just for me (with face masks and nail polish and scrubs a plenty) to be so helpful for my outlook and productivity levels.
  3. Transfer life stressing you out? Go seek out and talk to other transfer students, transfer student counselors, and transfer deans. You must always remember you are never alone in any step of the transfer process. You are one person out of a group of people experiencing the same exact thing. Form friendships with these individuals and never be afraid to ask for their help and advice. Acclimating from one university to another is a huge task made so much easier by the people who surround you. Do not think that anxiety over this process is uncommon or foreign- we all experience this as transfers. But do not let yourself sit and dwell in this anxiety. So many are here to help. It could be as simple as knocking on your hallmate’s door for help.
  4. Put your phone in your pocket while you are walking to and fro. Why? 1) The sidewalks have dangerous holes and curbs which you could miss while staring at your phone. 2) Brown’s campus is too beautiful to not experience on a daily basis because your phone was more important. Texts will be waiting there for you later. Snapchat’s seconds will still exist if you don’t immediately click it. The world around you is such a comfort and stress reliever by just recognizing the beauty you are in. The picture above you see? I stumbled across the cutest holiday set up because I had decided to put my phone in my pocket and enjoy the views I get to experience everyday. Of course, I took out the phone to take the picture, but I digress. Just unplugging while you walk means you can breathe more deeply and mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead.
  5. There are so many other tips and tricks to curb your stress and anxiety. Try not to procrastinate. Reach out to others for support. Use your days off as instrumental workdays. But my final (and potentially most important) tip? Stop the people on campus who walk their dogs and pet those cuties time and time again. The Brown community along with the Providence community who finds themselves walking the paths of the university with dog leashes in hand already know students want to pet their bundles of love. Don’t be afraid to ask and pet their dogs. It is such a huge and comforting stress reliever to see that wagging tail and stroke those floppy ears. The dogs will obviously love you. The owners will not mind. And you? You’ll be in a doggie euphoria where stress doesn’t quite exist anymore.

Thank you so much for reading! Questions? Comments? Simple hello? Please feel free to email me at or leave a comment below.


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