Student Stress: Just the beginning

Every day I hear students talk about the copious amount of stress and obligation they have. Regular conversations become competitions to see which student deserves the most sympathy or which student deserves a pat on the back for their good works.

I am guilty of taking part in these conversations. I would begin to take offense of others’ complaining and tell them how much stress I had because of my work load. I realize now how wrong it is to take part in the conversation of complaining.

A few weekends ago I stopped by my parents’ house. During my visit, I told them how my semester was going. This conversation quickly led to me complaining and stressing out about how much I have going on.

My father said something that really stuck out to me. He said, “Welcome to the real world. Do you think it will get any better?”

My dad opened my eyes to the reality becoming an adult. There is going to be stress everywhere.

Stress is any kind of tension you face mentally or emotionally from the challenges of life. You’re going to have stress regardless of what you’re doing in life. The point is to learn how to manage that stress and how to work well with it.

Balancing college classes and work, involvement with on campus organizations and a social life is only a small glimpse of what stress will become after college. Once you graduate from college, you will have bills to pay, full-time hours to work and possibly children take of. Learn to enjoy the moment you are in before the stress begins to mount.

That Sunday in my parents’ house, my dad gave me a good piece of advice: life will only continue to get busier and more stressful. All you can do is learn skills to help you manage and cope with the stressful things in your life.

Taking part in clubs on-campus is a great way to build life experience, but they can add more stress than we would like in our daily lives. To limit the stress caused by clubs, have a planner and log all of the events and meetings ahead of time. Knowing what is going on in advance helps tremendously.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has a list of tips to help manage stress like exercising daily, eating well-balanced meals, taking time for yourself and getting enough sleep at night.

At the end of the day, you may not do your absolute on a test or you may not be able to attend every social event on campus, but what matters is that you grew as a person along the way. Don’t let the stress of your everyday life keep you from forming life-long memories during your college years.

Stress is a natural response to challenges in life. It’s your decision how you choose to respond to it.