By Julian Wilson
College students deal with stress every day. From paper deadlines and tuition bills, to balancing school with a job, it’s difficult for students to relax. A 2008 article from ‘Mental Health’ on nbcnews.com, claims that one in five undergraduates are constantly stressed. “Most students in U.S. colleges are just plain stressed out, according to a poll of undergraduates from coast to coast. Everyone deals with stress in his or her own way, but how do students on our own campus fend off mounting anxiety?
Some students, including James Carroll, a junior Information Management Technology major, turn to friends or video games. “I’m not stressed often, but when I am, it is normally when I don’t understand an assignment, which is usually once a week,” Carroll said.
Other students deal with the stress of school by good organization and thoroughly planning ahead. For Amanda Gaimaro,
a sophomore Speech Pathology major, setting dates in advance helps greatly. “My calendar is my best friend, [I’m] constantly writing notes and organizing my planner. I’m stressed out often, but not always. Some weeks are better or worse than others. It depends on how much work I have,” she said.
For students who can’t yet find a way to relieve themselves of stress, Gaimaro added, “do your work ahead of time. Never wait until the last minute. This semester I’m really working on doing assignments weeks before they’re due.”
Music and crafts are helpful tools for some students. Susie Kelly, a junior Fine Arts major, uses music to drive away her stress. “I cope with stress mainly by listening to music. My favorite band always calms me down, no matter what’s bothering me. I also crochet. The repetitive motions really help to soothe my nerves, and by the time my thoughts are sorted, I’ve made an accessory,” Kelly said.
For Kelly, stress comes and goes. “I don’t feel stress that often, but when I do, it feels like I’ve been hit by a tidal wave. It usually comes when I find out I’m behind on assignments or I get overwhelmed with work,” she said. “I would recommend taking up a craft; even if it’s something small like crocheting or a paint by numbers. Sitting down for a small amount of time and doing a repetitive craft, or sorting your colors, will help relieve stress and allow you to organize your thoughts.”
Just doing nothing is the solution for others. Vanessa Gonzalez, a freshman Music Education major, sometimes likes to sit around and do nothing in order to relieve her mind of stress.
Gonzalez said that the most stressful time for her is from a few weeks before midterms until finals week. “At that point, every one of my classes demands more work, and I have that on top of music classes and practicing my instrument to keep up with my professor’s demands.” Gonzalez recommends finding some time within each week to do something enjoyable to forget about the stress. “Remember that it’s okay to sit for a bit and do nothing. Only for a short period, though, otherwise that turns into procrastination,” she said.
Stress is natural and certain stress can even motivate people into doing something they’ve been putting off, such as a paper. However, students faced with crippling stress, should take care of that stress, by meditating or some other stress reliever, before diving headfirst into a stack of papers.