College education has been around for a long time. There has and always will be a present enemy in student affairs, and that’s the effect of stress. Stress can take on many forms and be derived from many possible things, however, the challenging mental and physical weight of being stressed out will always impede desirable results in the long run, regardless of if it’s for a college degree or something completely different.
When it comes to college students, “stress has become the most serious academic impediment among students at over a hundred colleges and universities across the U.S,” according to an article that includes statistics for students of all ages and levels, 50 Current Student Stress Statistics: 2021/2022 Data, Analysis & Predictions.
Stress is a common concern that most people will encounter at some point in their life, and, depending on how it is managed, the results typically aren’t sunshine and rainbows.
The origin of stress could be derived from many possible scenarios or situations such as family or personal matters, student affairs, business endeavors, finances, or substance use just to name a few, but the true origin of stress really comes from attitude and mindset toward those matters.
It becomes quite simple to narrow down the possible scenarios that the average young adult may encounter when faced with a new chapter in life such as a college education. A shift in sleep habits, dietary habits, social involvement, exercise, finances, and the big one, exams, seems to be the primary habits that new and existing college students all meet and are faced with adversities at some point in their college life. One freshman at UTC said “I’ve never been so stressed out in my life” followed by “I can’t even find the time to sleep on some nights because I’m too busy studying or worrying about one of my classes.”
Learning how to manage those departments and prioritize the ones that have a substantial impact on daily life is crucial to a healthy routine and a healthy mindset, which in turn can be a huge variable in the stressful life of a student.
“Library” by SLU Madrid Campus is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0. Spending quality time doing something productive is one of the easiest ways to change an attitude about something. Whether it be at a library, at a desk, or somewhere else, having a designated spot to accomplish tasks is great for planning and working when it matters.
Stress can be just a regular common symptom of a busy schedule, and it can become extremely unhealthy and possibly even detrimental to individuals who do nothing to combat the pressure. The effects of stress are different for everybody, but there is one thing that everyone has in common, and that’s the long-term effects that stress can have on the body. Stress management critical to education, an article written about the important and useful tools that can be used to manage stress mentions “It can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, problems with sleep, headaches, stomach aches, and mental illnesses.”
“Learning” by CollegeDegrees360 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Stacking up all of the responsibilities without intentionality to get them done is like stacking up books without looking – sooner or later the tower will tumble.
Some of these factors may seem a little extreme or even inapplicable to a young healthy adult, but the truth is that any of these issues can quickly compound into something much more serious than you might anticipate.
One senior at UTC said that he never thought he could be in a worse mental place after experiencing one of the toughest academic semesters of his life. It made sense to him afterward that he was so stressed out about making the grades, that he didn’t make any time for himself outside of study time.
Luckily, when it comes to combatting or coping with the responsibility that may seem over the top, there are many resources that provide strategies for those who may be struggling to get through the everyday stresses of life on their own. Stress happens: develop strategies that will bring relief, an article written about strategies to cope with stress in a college setting says this: “In stressful moments, it is easy to feel like your self-esteem has taken a beating. When stress is something that we deal with often, like in a university setting, it’s crucial to develop strategies to maintain a high level of self-worth.”
This Ted-Talk provides an example of how to effectively control academic activity using a guide that he created for other college students. Brad Smith, is a college graduate who has since become very well known in the world of academia for helping college students get organized and properly prepare for assignments, exams, and tough material for the best results.
A senior at UTC said he watched YouTube videos to find study tactics that worked for him during his sophomore year, and when he found out that getting organized was the first step to winning the grade, he realized that the time he spent to lay out a plan helped him destress, and he was able to carry that technique into all of his classes. Again, everyone handles stress differently than others, and while some may be able to use willpower to force themselves into an organized proactive frenzy, others may not be as disciplined.
Regardless of strategy, it is crucial that anyone who is feeling stressed, and especially those who may be feeling overly stressed, find a way to manage those issues effectively and with intentionality to learn from because it can make the world of difference in results, attitude, as well as mental and physical health when trying to earn a college degree. An undergraduate student at UTC mentioned that “when I figured out a way to overcome the mental struggle of doing the work, the physical struggle became easy to get over – I just started doing the work.”
Because it is no slight feat to graduate from college, and because it is viable to understand the importance of mental and physical health, learning to manage stress is something every college student should know – it might just change their life.