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Stress and College: How Do You Cope?

Nov 21, 2017 • by Jordan Perry, Alvernia University, citizen contributor
Stress and Coping

As many people can relate, college is a great experience, but it can also be the most stressful time of one’s life. Not only are students stressed from school but are stressed by other factors in their everyday lives. Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. People find many different ways to cope with stress, and I have asked a few college students to explain what they do when they are faced with stress.

The first student I had asked is a student-athlete on the Woman’s Basketball team at Alvernia and her name is Megan Bruno. When asked the question, what do you do when you get stressed, Megan answered, “I stop what I am doing that is making me stressed and I go play basketball”. She has to keep up with her schoolwork but also make time for sports. A big factor that plays in is time management. Megan then says, “There are days where I have a game that is three hours away from the school and won’t be back to the school until very late with an exam the next morning at 7:45, and that becomes very stressful for me”. Then I had asked, what do you do when you are stressed not only from school but from basketball as well? Megan answered, “I do adult coloring and it takes my mind off of everything that I am stressing about”. As you can see this student is faced with stress in ways other than just school but has different ways in which she copes with each situation.

However, depending on what your major is, school its self can cause the most stress in your life. Kelly Ryan, a second-year nursing major says, “with nursing, there is never a break. You constantly have to worry about the next thing. One week you have an exam for one nursing class, then have another one in a different nursing class the next week. How I deal with the stress is by setting aside 2-3hours a day for myself to relax and go to the gym”. Physical activity is a great way to relieve stress. When working out you are releasing endorphins, which give off positive feelings in the body also known as a “runner’s high”.  According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “When stress affects the brain, with its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. So it stands to reason that if your body feels better, so does your mind.” 

On the other hand, there are those students who don’t get stressed from school but still get stressed in other ways. Stress is impossible to avoid and can be caused by anything. A second-year student, Tim Bailey, says, “School and athletics never really seemed to stress me thought-out my life. I think this is mainly because I set a lot of time to the side for other activities while still managing my time to succeed in both athletics and school”. When asked, what do you do when you are faced with stress? He answered, “As an avid outdoorsman, I like to go outside and escape from reality”. 

As seen by these students, stress can be caused by many different reasons but its how you are able to cope with it is what really matters. By being able to find that outlet to relieve stress is what one needs in life. If you are never able to relieve the stress you have it could eventually lead to mental health issues. One will never be completely stress-free but by knowing how to let some of that stress out can help in more ways than one.

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