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How to Be Resilient

By DeVry University

March 31, 2022

4 min read


It’s easy to think of resilience as being entirely unaffected by challenges in your life. However, becoming resilient doesn’t mean you never feel stressed or upset about things, it’s about developing a system of tools and practices to help you cope and persevere through them.


Whether you already consider yourself resilient or are looking to grow this attribute, learning more about how to be resilient, what that really means and how you can leverage it in your education, life and career is important. Read on for some helpful tips on how to develop resilience and use it to your benefit.

What is resilience?

Resilience is the ability to “bounce back” or make it through difficult situations without becoming overwhelmed by them.

According to online mental health resource Verywellmind, “resilient people tend to have what psychologists call an internal locus of control. They believe that the actions they take will affect the outcome of an event.” That’s why developing a set of tools and practices that you can use to help you get through in times of stress can help you learn to be more resilient and feel more in control of the situation.

What are some benefits of resilience?

If you are resilient, you understand that life comes with challenges and setbacks, but you also know how to maintain an optimistic outlook throughout. Instead of letting the situation overwhelm you, you’re able to face it head-on.

But what are some of the benefits of resilience, and what does developing it look like? The Mayo Clinic has some insight:

Being adaptable to adversity

Being resilient means you’re able to adapt to difficult situations. When faced with stress or adversity, you still allow yourself to experience uncomfortable emotions like grief or anger, but you're able to persevere both mentally and physically.

Supporting your mental health

Developing mental resilience not only helps you work through the problem at hand, it can also help you cope with mental health concerns and offset factors that may increase your risk of developing them.

How can I build resilience?

Resilience helps you to better control your emotions during difficult times. While factors that influence resilience can be complex, there are a few conscious things you can do to build more resilience:

Reframe the problem

It’s easy to feel engulfed by a bad situation. Instead of focusing on the entire problem, look for ways to break it up into smaller, more manageable tasks. Developing your problem-solving skills will help you map out a course of action and help you adapt more quickly to difficult situations in the future. Focus on what you can control and let go of what you can’t.

Focus on the positive

Instead of ruminating on the negative aspects of a problem or situation, thinking about how you are positively challenged or hopeful about the outcome can help you find the resilience to see it through to the end.

Find support

Developing personal strength is important, but part of being resilient is also knowing that you don’t have to do everything on your own, and having a supportive external network is a crucial part of making it through. Knowing that you have someone to turn to creates a feeling of safety that can help relieve some of the pressure.

Manage your stress

Despite your best efforts, you still may find moments that are difficult to get through. Taking the time to manage stressful feelings when they come up is an important step in learning how to be resilient. Breathing, journaling and exercising are all great ways to manage stress, as is getting enough sleep.

Why is resilience important for students?

Student life comes with a lot of responsibility, including keeping track of class schedules, completing assignments and fitting in study time. For some, there may be the added responsibility of work or raising a family.

Whatever tasks you are balancing, being resilient is key. Resilience gives you the ability to quickly change gears when needed, power through a late-night study session or multitask in order to meet deadlines. When different pressures start to feel like too much, having an arsenal of ways to combat stress and to get yourself through is important.

Learning how to work your way through a challenge bit by bit and focus your attention on the end goal can help you build resilience and be better prepared to take on challenges in the future.

Explore Student Support at DeVry

Advancing your education can be a great way to grow your hard and soft skills – including becoming more resilient. At DeVry, we offer student resources to help you get the support you need, from our extensive e-library to one-on-one virtual tutoring*. Browse our online programs or reach out to our Admissions team for more information.

*Each student is allotted a set number of hours of tutoring per academic session through (available 24/7). Additional tutoring services are also available through

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