One of the best ways to reduce stress while attending college is to reconnect with nature. By exploring the outdoors, it will help you to take your mind off the rigors of studying for tests and keeping up with homework. Reducing your stress levels is one of the best ways to increase your happiness and health while attending school. A great way to reduce stress is to go on a hike on one of your local trails. There are many trails located in your local state forests, conservation areas and preserves. Your town or city may also have smaller areas of land set aside for public use. Make sure to bring plenty of water, wear sturdy footwear, and if you are planning on staying outside for a longer period of time, bring a headlamp. Having a headlamp on you is very important if you happen to stay out after the sun sets. It will illuminate the trail well enough to allow you to walk out at dusk or in the dark.
One of my favorite lightweight backpacks, which is perfect for day hikes, is the Marmot Kompressor Backpack. It's very lightweight, yet it comes with a waist strap to accommodate a light load. It's perfect to carry a couple water bottles, first aid supplies, a headlamp, and a few snacks. It also looks nice, so you can wear it on campus.
For long hikes or overnight hikes, I love my Deuter ACT Lite 45+10 SL Women's Hiking Backpack. The waist strap is padded to allow for the comfortable carry of heavier loads. It has specifically designed spacing between your back and the pack to allow for airflow. This helps keep your back cool on longer hikes. Towards the bottom of the pack is a place to stuff your sleeping bag, which is placed in a separate zippered opening towards the bottom. This allows you to access your sleeping bag without having to unpack everything on top of it. On both sides of the backpack are pouches to put your water bottle. The only drawback about this backpack is that it is very difficult to reach your water bottles while wearing the pack. I always have to ask someone else who is hiking with me to get the water bottle from the side of the pack for me. When I am finished drinking, I ask them to put the water bottle back in my pack. I am hoping Deuter will eventually make the pouches angled to allow for easier access to the water bottles.
If you feel yourself getting anxious or stressed out by your upcoming college assignments and tests, find a friend, and go for a hike. You will be surprised by how much this simple, low cost activity will reduce your stress level. Make sure to find a trail map beforehand so you don't get lost, and bring plenty of water with you. There are so many beautiful spots that you can not see from the road. Hike a trail and discover your local college area.