College stress

A survey conducted by the American College Health Association (ACHA) found out that stress was the prime self-reported obstruction to students’ academic performance (Landow, 2006, p. 92). Many college students thus pass through stress as they try to balance busy lives and the hassles of study and work while trying to also create time for friends and family. For many college students, stress has turn out to be a portion of their life.

They all experience occasional stress as they arrange to sit for a key exam, finalizing an assignment or perhaps getting ready for a particular essential function. A constant state of stress is however dangerous since it could lead to not only increment of health risks but also the deterioration of general social wellbeing of the students. It is therefore necessary to examine the common stressors in colleges and the different ways that students can use manage them.

College students are faced with many stressors during the college set up. For instance, many college students succumb to the pressure of greater academic demands.  These students thus incline towards reading and working industriously in order to achieve great results. This however could become a stressor more so if the student had no definite reading structure or timetable. Moreover, being on one’s own in an unfamiliar environment that has new responsibilities can also cause stress to many students. This is because when students enroll to colleges, they are exposed to new individuals, ideas, temptations and responsibilities among other aspects. These elements could be cause of stress among the students, for instance, a relatively unsocial student can find it hard to interact with other students and this can lead to seclusion. The student can therefore develop stress as a result of being socially alienated.

Equally important, poor eating habits among college students has been a major contributor of stress among college students. In most occasions, college students have become too busy with their peers or too occupied with their course work to the extent that they do not create time to eat a well-balanced diet (Seaward, 2012, p. 282). Most of them therefore take fast foods such as chocolate, candy and pizza which usually alleviates their body’s stress level. Furthermore, greater workload has also led to stress among college students. Many college students do not usually realize that unlike high school, they are on their own and therefore they ought to plan how they will handle the much increased workload. Most college students tend to overload themselves with school work, which at times could result to severe stress among them. They should therefore try to plan and manage their work so as not to have work overloads.

College stress could have severe impacts not only in terms of the academic work but also towards the health of students. These impacts could include effects such as headaches, insomnia, weight loss, dullness, anxiety, mood swings, resentment and isolation among others. College students should therefore find ways to cope up with stress. Some of the ways of managing stress can be described as follows. First, the students should carry out constant exercise. Coon argues that regular exercise alter the body hormones, blood circulation, muscle tone and other physical functioning which can reduce anxiety thereby lowering stress levels among students (2006, p. 481). Body exercises such as going to the gym, running, attending dance or yoga classes and swimming can aid in the reduction of stress levels among college students.

In addition, students should ensure that they get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet. Many students have a stereotype of postponing their assignments and course works last minute thereby making them to pull all night trying to complete working on the papers. This deprives them of sleep, an element which is essential for good health. According to Fahey, Insel and Roth, college students should have up to seven or eight hours of sleep per night (2005, p. 64). Doing this will help them to relax their bodies and manage stress effectively. Besides, they should refrain from eating too much pizza, chips, candy and other fast foods which can alleviate stress. Instead, they should concentrate on more natural delicacies such as avocado, salmon and oatmeal which can aid in creating good moods, thereby causing a reduction in stress levels.

Stress among the college students is therefore a matter of concern that affects most individuals. Every student should therefore ensure that measures such as regular exercises, eating healthy foods, good time management, planning among others are put in place in order to effectively manage stress. Partaking these actions would greatly reduce stress among the college students thereby consequently increasing their academic performance.

References

Coon, D., & Coon, D. (2006). Psychology: A modular approach to mind and behavior. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

Fahey, T. D., Insel, P. M., & Roth, W. T. (2005). Fit & well: Core concepts and labs in physical fitness and wellness. Boston, Mass: McGraw-Hill.

Landow, M. V. (2006). Stress and mental health of college students. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Seaward, B. L. (2012). The art of peace and relaxation: Workbook. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

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