About this sample
About this sample
Words: 1393 |
7 min read
Published: Sep 14, 2018
Words: 1393|Pages: 3|7 min read
Going to college for the first time is an exciting experience for most. College students have opportunities that weren’t so easily accessible before going to campus, and they have the freedom to find themselves. While mom and dad aren’t there to hold their child’s hand anymore, the student is more likely to face new challenges, or similar challenges to those faced before. According to the 2015 National College Health Assessment, 30% of students reported that stress had had a negative impact on their academic performance. College stress can be caused by poor time management skills, pressure to excel, and lack of creating new relationships with peers.
According to Coccia and Darling, common stress inducers could be caused simply by personal characteristics, social interactions and personal behaviors. Personal characteristics such as gender and age have proven to be predictors of stress. For example, females tend to have higher stress levels than males. Females have been reported to have greater concern with social and romantic relationships and have greater rates of social anxiety and depression than men of the same age (Catherine Coccia & Carol A. Darling, 2014).
In college, one of the first problems a student will typically face is learning how to manage their time in the most efficient way possible. Different class schedules and deciding the best way to spend their time outside of class is a very difficult task. Due to living by a set schedule for most of one’s life, the ability to have control over their schedule is a new experience for a student. Dr. Gregory Jantz, psychologist and author of How to De-Stress Your Life, says, “We actually create more stress from not being good time stewards.” Time management has proven to be a cause of severe stress in college students due to the inability to accurately factor in all aspects of the student’s schedule such as classes, breaks between classes, study and homework time, and even the time the student should plan to eat meals throughout the day.
While at college, students feel a higher pressure to excel in all aspects of their lives, especially academically. This pressure can be put on the student by his or her parents or other close family constantly telling the student that they need to keep their grades up, go to every class, or by hovering. The student may also feel pressured to excel because they may be a first-generation college student and feel they must prove they deserve the ability to go to college and make their family proud. While the signs of this excess pressure to succeed can be beneficial to the student, it may also over stress the student. Dr. Turner from The Mayo Clinic suggests reaching out to others such as friends or family for help. Stress can lead to severe depression and if not treated properly, the symptoms may get too far out of control for the student to be able to handle the depression on their own. Symptoms of depression include appetite changes, defensive and quick mood changes, irritability, and altered sleep patterns. Depression can be caused by stress and is a serious mental illness that can be avoided and helped if done properly. Dr. Turner recommends seeking help from a psychiatrist if the situation becomes too difficult to handle. This disease can become detrimental to one’s health if help is not sought out and the situation is not handled properly. As each person has his or her own way of taking care of depression, if the cause is not identified to its full extent, the illness may worsen.
Relationships in college are a vital part of each student’s experience. As a student, one may feel detached and soon become depressed if social interaction is not a key part of his or her daily routine. “Something I hear repeatedly is students are impatient in college to form the friend network that they had at home in their communities,” says Dr. Nancy Stockton, director of Counseling and Psychological Services at Indiana University. The distance from peers may cause students to feel as though they are not worthy of friendship or romantic relationships, making them either shut themselves off from other students more or making them feel the need to reach out to their peers for help and acceptance. Elizabeth Scott from About.com said, “Knowing who is toxic to you and safe guarding a little bit [can] keep the stress from happening.” The stress she speaks of can come from “wishy-washy friends” who are supportive one minute and negative the next. Dr. Gregory Jantz, psychologist and author of How to De-Stress Your Life, says, “We actually create more stress from not being good time stewards.” Time management has proven to be a cause of severe stress in college students along with inadequate relationship building.
Failure to release endorphins is a problem with many college students and people in general. To not release endorphins regularly can lead to built up tension and overstressed bodies and minds. The Mayo Clinic reports that exercise is one of the best de-stressors. Exercise releases endorphins, improves one’s mood, and helps one become more fit and healthy overall. When one is living a hectic lifestyle, finding time to schedule in a trip to the gym may be difficult. Luckily, more convenient forms of exercise such as yoga or gardening, can help stressed students to release the endorphins needed to lift their mood and reduce stress. These forms of exercise work and calm the mind at the same time. These activities also lower one’s blood pressure and can be very beneficial to one’s overall health and wellness (Erlanger A. Turner).
A study was conducted by Sandra Lenz based off other journals and studies about college stress and why students are showing higher rates of extreme stress while enduring what is said to be the best four years of ones’ life. Lenz took part in this study so that college student, parents, professors and others alike could better understand why college students have higher stress rates as years pass and coping mechanisms that can be used to combat the stress. Sandra starts by discussing that many factors are present in the cause of stress and the way each student copes. With many other studies feeding the research that Sandra takes on, she was able to put together a well-rounded study.
One of the first coping styles that Lenz speaks about is task-oriented coping. She refers to homework being a probable cause of stress in college students. The task-oriented coping means that a student is more likely to get the homework done before he or she takes a moment to consider how the stress is affecting them. The student will directly confront the source of his or her stress without beating around the bush. The second form of coping that Lenz described is called emotion-oriented coping, meaning there is a specific cause of the stress the student is facing. Instead of focusing his or her energy on completing the task, say it is back to the homework analogy, the student will focus harder on understanding and controlling their emotional state towards the situation and completely forget about completing the homework. Lenz says that the third and final form of coping is avoidance coping. Avoidance coping is when the student has decided to avoid the cause of the stress they are experiencing all together. If the cause of the stress is homework, according to Lenz, the student will avoid the homework completely and this is how the student will handle their stress.
Lenz’s study shows that while emotion-oriented coping is the most used tactic for dealing with stress in college, the other two forms she wrote about are not unused, just not as regularly used by the students as emotion-oriented. The results of the study that Lenz conducted show that students have different needs and how each student deals with his or her stress varies immensely. There are many causes to stress and college students have a higher rate of stress than middle aged workers. Learning to handle stress on one’s own time is a challenge, but there are endless ways to learn to help oneself. Exercise, yoga, taking time to pamper yourself and deciding in one’s mind how to handle stress are only a few of the options available for coping with this burden, but there are many more tactics to be considered.
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