We have all had this feeling before. Our muscles go tense from it, our bodies feel drained, and our minds go crazy. Yes, the feeling is stress. According to Merriam-Webster.com stress is defined as, “A constraining force or influence as a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation (2011).” As a college student I’m faced with all kinds of different stress. As well, most of you probably witness a little stress in your life too. Having to cope with stress as a student is not uncommon. A recent MSN article reports that the Associated Press conducted research on college student stress at many colleges throughout the United States.
A person suffering from stress can start using the more emotional parts of the brain, shutting down the more logical side of the brain. This has the effect of lowering your intelligence whilst in this state, and effecting our judgment. It can affect performance at work, and our personal relationships.We all have an Ultradian Rhythm, which is a 90-120 minute cycle of stress and relaxation. The relaxation dips are usually around 90 minutes apart. This is when your mind and body is telling you to slow down and relax. Typically you may find yourself daydreaming, which is a natural form of meditation and self hypnosis. Some people instead choose to carry out addictive behavior instead, such as drinking, drugs, and smoking.
This is not healthy because aside from the physical harm such addictions present, there are also psychological problems this can cause. A person cannot learn how to naturally deal with stress if they always turn to their addictions for a release. They do not adequately learn how to cope with the knocks that life inevitably presents. Instead they grow increasingly dependent on their addictions as a means of coping, which often creates many other problems in the long run.
In addition to financial stress we have work place stress. Workplace stress maybe brought on by many factors. You may be worried about getting you next promotion, or you may be worried about losing your job since the economy is so bad. Other factors could be the experience of negative behavior from you coworkers or boss. You might not be reaching your career goals or there are major changes happening at your work place and you worry about how it will affect you. Many factors in a work place can bring on stress and overwhelm us, especially if we don’t know how to cope with stress.
As mentioned above, when there is a pressing concern; an essay deadline for instance, it is quite natural for a stressed person to use avoidance as a coping mechanism. In the case of a student with less time on their hands, the essay ignored but the stress of it will continue to prey on the students mind. It seems easier to avoid doing the university work than to attempt it and fail.There are two factors here that are diminishing the students self esteem, the pressure to afford to be at university and the pressure to achieve what should be achievable whilst suffering from fear of failure that has been induced by the financial stress, lack of rest and general chaotic lifestyle that a poor student has to endure.
The first letter is “R”. “R” stands for Recognize. We must first recognize the stress before we can cope with stress. Once you recognize the stress try writing what you are stressed about down on paper. This is a way to vent and analyze a better way to go about your situation. Also, some people just simply find writing very relaxing and it helps calm their nerves.The second letter is the letter “E”. “E” stands for Exercise. Incorporate exercise into your life. Make it a daily routine. Set aside time to exercise because it is simply good for you, and it will help keep your mind off your worries. If you can learn to make a routine out of it, then you can start building onto that routine and get more organized. In time, you will be less overwhelmed and enjoy having a healthy routine.
The third letter is “L”. “L” stands for Let-it-go. So many times things can be let go. Think about it? Will it matter in ten years, or even five years? If the thing that is stressing you out won’t matter in the long-term, then just let-it-go because it is not worth stressing over. Life is too short to be anything but happy. If it does matter, take a minute and then address the situation piece by piece so you can make a good decision.
To prevent some of the troubles that may be encountered at university, prospective and new students should do a little preparation and research. The most important thing to consider is the course itself. As soon as there is a timetable available, it should be studied and a realistic life timetable be made so it is known how much time is going to be available to study, work, rest and play. Keeping on top of workload is key to having an enjoyable time at university.Making the best out of home life is also very important. It is advisable to most students to take a place in student accommodation for the first year. It is important to make friends and to be eased into university life this way. Living in private accommodation can isolate people from other students. If it isn’t possible to live in halls then it would be good to consider joining a sports team or club to integrate in that way.
It is important to make the most of the help that is available to students. There is extra funding available from charities and organizations that many students aren’t aware of. For students who struggle with finance and have emotional difficulty there is a lot of help at hand. Student welfare officers, student counseling services and the students union are there to support all sorts of issues.
Stresses and problems aside, university life is over all very rewarding and very worthwhile. Skills learned and friends made at university shape lives and build careers. There are plenty of good times to be had despite the pressures.More advice on student lifestyle can be found on the Student Book website.Student Book is a website for prospective and current students. It offers a university comparison tool and a wealth of information on the ins and outs of applying to university. The site is also a guide to student life with advice on finance, welfare, study skills, accommodation and a lot more. These are helpful, relevant and entertaining articles aimed at students and future students.