Stress in college

Catherine Hyman, Copy Editor

As college students, we’re all painfully aware of growing stress rates as the semester moves forward. We’re only one third of the way through fall 2016, and as we approach midterms, many students do not know how to alleviate the build-up.

As an English 101 teaching assistant, I’ve noticed the stress through the panicky questions my students are asking. As an RA in a freshman hall, I see tension continuing to rise as more complaints are issued and freshmen cope both with being away from home and having more responsibilities thrown at them than they ever have before. And I myself am not immune to stress: as a full-time student working four part-time jobs, I keep several calendars, am perpetually sleep deprived and regularly worried that I won’t be able to fulfill all the responsibilities that college brings.

High stress levels plague most college students. It affects freshmen who still don’t accurately understand what is expected of them, and it affects upperclassmen who are struggling under increasing responsibilities and workloads.

By trying to juggle many tasks at once, we often end up overwhelmed. Without any tactics that help us to channel that stress, we’re often drained by it, rendering ourselves completely unable to check off even the easiest tasks from our to-do lists.

As pressures mount and deadlines grow closer, we become all the more unable to relieve that stress or lower our workloads. Personally, I’m one of those students who has to be involved – whatever it takes to perfectly pad a resume or achieve the kind of success that motivated me to go to college in the first place.

As the kind of person who finds it impossible to say no whenever I’m asked to do something, I often stretch myself too thin and can’t always complete all the responsibilities I assign myself.

However, there are plenty of ways that we can counteract the stress of college. I’ve tried many stress-managing techniques, and some of them are responsible for the success I’ve seen in my years at FMU.

One of the biggest things that helps me relax is dividing big goals into smaller tasks that are easier to handle. By focusing on one step at a time, I can see a light at the end of a tunnel, and the panic vanishes.

Another key component to relieving stress is taking time for myself. Sometimes it’s as simple as opening a window, using lavender oil and binging on Netflix.

It’s important that we take time away from work every day, whether it’s an hour on Netflix or going out with friends or even just taking a nap.

No matter how we combat our stress, it’s important to take care of ourselves both physically and mentally. Find what works for you and take care of yourself. College can be stressful and students can forget to take time for themselves.

My motto – clichéd as it might be – has always been to “work smarter, not harder.” Don’t sit in a panic, but also don’t try to conquer all your problems in one fell swoop. Taking things one project at a time and keeping your eye on small prizes is altogether more rewarding.