by Lillian Stroup
I had completely shut down. I had so much information and tasks that I had to complete circulating in my head, and instead of starting with one and then proceeding to take care of the others, I decided to ignore them altogether. Every college student, including myself, is all too familiar with being stressed, and the mayhem, or lack thereof, that follows. With all of these assignments, social gatherings, meal times and “eight hours of sleep,” how do college students handle it?
Ifeoma Obi, a first year with a POE in biochemistry, says that, “Trying to get the right grades in the right classes is really stressful to me, especially with classes that I struggle with.”
Kyle Rodriguez, a first year with a POE in computer science, says that, “Deadlines stress me out a lot. I naturally procrastinate, and once deadlines come up I don’t know how to deal with things so I rush my work. It’s a circle of stress, because the work isn’t as good as you think it should be, so you put it off and then stress about putting it off.”
Along with the theme of deadlines, Obi says that between class work and homework, the more difficult to handle is homework. “In class you can always talk to the professor, but with homework you just have to push through it. You pretty much just do it to get it done, not actually to learn about the material.”
Is it healthy to stress college students out to the point where they are only pushing to get their homework done and not retaining the material? Deadlines aren’t the only stressor that affect most college students these days.
Zachary Kelly, a first year with a biology POE, shares his concerns on the largest stressor of college students. “I think that change is what stresses students out more, the transition to new social and living situations. They’re newer and they don’t have a way to cope with it yet. Change would probably be the biggest stressor for freshman in my opinion.”
Although change is a large stressor for any incoming freshman, Rodriguez says,“College students are most stressed with balancing school work, their social life and sleeping.”
Who better to get advice from than college students that personally struggle with these stressors on a daily basis? When asked how she copes with her stress, Obi says that, “Online shopping is extremely relaxing to me. When you find that perfect velvet dress, that’s perfect. I also like being alone and watching movies. I would actually say that movies would probably be my biggest stress relief. It helps separate me from people and work and stuff when I’m all by myself with my own thoughts, which is more relaxing than when I’m around people.”
Kelly takes on the concept of dealing with stress from a masculine point of view. “As a normally functioning male of society, I don’t really deal with stress. Sometimes I play some video games or play the piano. I sleep a lot too, so that’s nice.”
For Rodriguez, de-stressors revolve around doing something you enjoy to rid your mind of worries. “Reading can be helpful, but sometimes if you’re really stressed it can be hard to focus on reading. I would say working out, because I know that helps people de-stress, but that doesn’t happen for me. I play video games sometimes. I dabble. Talking to people is another way to de-stress, just being in a social situation to get your mind off of what you’re going through.”
In the coming weeks, between upcoming finals and heavy workloads, the students give some advice on how to handle their stress. Kelly lives his days on a meal-by-meal basis. “Lunch. Sometimes even dinner. Just food in general, man. Food always helps me get through my day.”
Obi motivates herself by reminding herself how great she has been and what she wants to do. “I want to be really successful in life, and how I measure success in academic life is doing well in my classes. Success in other areas of my life would be being comfortable. In general, I don’t like the idea of failing.”
For Rodriguez, the comfort at the end of a long day pushes him through. “The thought of my nice, warm, cozy thermal blanket waiting for me in bed at the end of every day helps with all of the work. Naps help a lot, too. Napsolutely.”
When you’re up at three in the morning cramming for finals and feel everything start to fall apart, remember that it’s always darkest before the dawn. Keep pushing through your work and the stress of it all, and soon you will gain the break you deserve. If you need help with finding ways to de-stress, contact the Health and Wellness Center, or follow these last pieces of advice from students stressing just as much as you are.
“I would say find what de-stressor works for you,” says Obi. “For me it’s get work done, watch a movie and socialize. But for other people it could be socialize, watch a movie, get their work done and then sleep, so find what’s best for you. Once you do, it’s easier than fitting in that conventional ‘study, work, play’ routine.”
Good luck to you all, and remember that this is just the end of a semester, not the end of the world. Remember to step back and breathe if you need to. Once you feel sane again, dive back into your work to make sure you do your best on your exams.
Categories: Volume 97 Issue 5 Campus Spin