The Causes of Stress for College Students
Stress is basically defined as an applied force or system of forces that tends to strain or deform a body. It is usually caused by something that is out of the ordinary from everyday life, things like tests, family problems and loss of job. Today students have a lot of stress because of a lot of different reasons. There are many things that cause stress for college students; school-related issues, relationships, and peer pressure.
One of the main causes of stress is adapting to the new life which we have suddenly landed in. For me it is the first time that I have lived outside the nurturing and protective security of the family unit. My parents used to provide for me materially and used to set down boundaries on how to live. This no longer applies in college and one of the first tasks that I should undertake is to find an identity and effectively test the rules that were set out by my parents. The uncertainty and lack of identity is a common cause of stress for me.
School-related issues also cause stress for students these days. It can be caused by them doing so badly in college that they gave up all hope of doing something worthwhile with their lives, or it could be caused by just not living up to their own standards. Stress also creates the way people deal with things like smoking and drinking, which are worse ways of dealing with stress. I think that these are some of the most common ways to deal with it. For example, one of my friends likes to go out and drink when he feels stressed about doing badly on a test or paper.
Another cause of college stress is relationships. Relationship stress can be caused by not living up to their partner's expectation or just plainly by breaking up with someone that they really did care for. Also, it can be caused by an individual liking someone a lot and the finding that feeling is not mutual. All of these aspects can cause students to feel like they are in way over their heads. Most students use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to relieve stress. That's why for some college students stress makes them sick and their immune system gets run down.
Moreover, the cause of the stress is peer pressure. Peer pressure is when "friends" persuade you to doing something that you do not want to do. But maybe you want to do it, and you just don't have the courage to do it and your friends talk you into it. Peer Pressure can be broken down into two areas; good peer pressure and bad peer pressure. Bad peer pressure is being coerced into doing something that you didn't want to do because your friends said that you should. Friends have a tendency to think that they know what is best for you, and if your friends are like some of ours, they always offer their opinion whether it is wanted or not. Many students are vulnerable to bad peer-pressure because they are afraid of being rejected, losing friends, being teased and they don't know how to say "NO". Some students don't think about the consequences and they can't explain why they are not interested that's why peer-pressure can cause stress.
In my opinion, to overcome stress we need to balance academic demands and the social demands of college. Socializing and being surrounded by positive people is an important aspect of overcoming stress. It helps to have real supportive people that you like a lot in your life who want you to succeed, especially during finals. There are several strategies that will help us to cope with stressful situations. First, we have to learn to manage our time wisely. Second, we have to set priorities and make the most of our opportunities as a student. Last, we have to learn to say "NO".
After all, college students have a lot of stress. There's no denying it, but college is what we make of it. If we stay focused and balance our life, we'll feel much more relaxed and healthier when it's time to wear our cap and gown. Now, that's an achievement we have earned for life!
The period of time connected with studying at college or university is often viewed as the happiest period in one’s life. However, many of us tend to forget about the challenges student life offers. Young people may find themselves rather stressed, due to either external or internal factors. High academic demands, tight schedules, numerous curricular and extra-curricular activities, in addition to personal affairs, can contribute to emotional or psychological tension.
Consequently, this tension may result in feeling stressed and physically unwell as a number of factors accumulate.
The following symptoms can indicate stress:
- Frequent headaches
- Sleep disorders
- Increased sense of vulnerability and irritation
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Indifference towards favorite activities
- Unwillingness to communicate
- Desire for solitude
However, stress also has its positive side. It makes one’s brain and body work more effectively, thus keeping one more focused. Stress puts into play various resources of one’s personality and in such a way that it empowers one to overcome major obstacles.
Hence, the basic questions involving stress are:
- What are some effective ways for coping with stress?
- Is it possible to reduce stress the moment one begins feeling the pressure?
- Is there a way to avoid future stress?
Before we begin looking for answers in coping with stress, let’s admit that students often choose unwise strategies for overcoming emotional and physiological tension, such as turning to tobacco and alcohol use, consuming large amounts of junk food, and becoming lethargic rather than participating in physical exercise. However, the most helpful and effective ways to deal with stress include strategies that are just the opposite!
So, if you want to beat the tension without doing more harm to yourself, you should follow the guidelines below:
- First, participate in more physical activities (Robinson, Smith, Segal, 2015). Avoid using public transportation or a private car when you just need to get to any nearby location. Also, find out about programs offered by the local gym and slowly become involved in a physical sport. In addition, develop a healthy life style. Taking brisk walks or short morning jogs before class will also help!
- Second, keep a planner where you list all the important tasks to be completed that day, week, or month (Robinson, Smith, Segal, 2015). This will help you to be better organized, making certain you stay on top of your responsibilities. It can also help you to prioritize. Soon, you will feel more in control of your student life, once more!
- Third, try to set realistic goals. It’s important not to overestimate your resources and capabilities. If the task looks too complicated, break it into several smaller tasks and gradually work toward completing the overall, major task. Moreover, working on a major task should be systematic in order to avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed again. It’s better to complete it slowly over a period of time rather than all at once. Choosing and maintaining such a systematic approach toward all tasks will help to build confidence that you can manage to complete everything on time.
- Forth, make sure you get enough sleep (Robinson, Smith, Segal, 2015). Avoid procrastinating until the last moment, which is usually just before you go to bed at night. Instead, complete all tasks for the next day well before bedtime. Then, go to bed by 11 P.M after taking a warm, relaxing shower. Adequate sleep is essential for replenishing the energy you need for your studies the next day. When you sleep well, you feel less anxious, short-tempered, or exhausted.
- Fifth, avoid solitude. Try to surround yourself with a company of supportive friends. Lively chat, good jokes and a friendly smile are proven ways to feel less vulnerable and to avoid the risk of a nervous breakdown.
As you can see, when talking about stress, we are dealing with two different sides of the same coin.
You can’t avoid stress in your everyday life, but you can increase knowledge and awareness about this issue, and thus learn to cope with it quickly and effectively. Additionally, you will gain the ability to maintain a healthy psyche and emotional stability. Emotionally-stabled, well-balanced students tend to be more successful in their studies and future professional lives than those who are always worried or stressed out! So, learn to maintain flexibility and stamina. You will find doing so very rewarding!
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About Jessica Dong
Jessica Dong is a 21-year-old student from Beijing. She studies business development in the USA and dreams of running her own company. Jessica is a socially active student with interest in traveling, social media and entertainment.
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