Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Best Years of Our Lives Are Also The Most Stressful
By Roland Trafton

Forget the Avian Bird Flu, as a college student there is a more serious problem that handicaps a student’s lifestyle and academics: stress. What with all the concerns of competition amongst fellow echo generation over achievers in the academic field, there is a pressing need to perform, and not just to perform, but to perform well. Also, leading contributors for college students include turbulent relationships that often follow the “adult sleep away camp” mentality of the institution. Perhaps a girlfriend or boyfriend has found the urge to go find other girlfriends or boyfriends. Also note, that a college student feels intense pressure to try and choose a career for them in the next four years.

But also realize, that stress is not always a bad thing. Particularly, for those Echos that might need that little extra push to keep them on track. In fact, some stress can be very therapeutic. If there was no stress at all, then life would be somewhat of a breeze, and incidentally, very boring.

If you are a student, look out for these sources of stress: It can often come from the environment, meaning noise pollution around you, traffic, large crowds, and even unfavorable weather. But don’t just look to your environment, look to yourself; some sources of stress can include poor sleep, poor nutrition, poor health, and even a poor state of emotional attachment. Yes, even your social life can lead to stress. It’s best to avoid the sources of stress before you start feeling the symptoms.

You’ll know you are starting to feel stressed when you experience a sickness, muscular tension, high blood pressure, trouble sleeping, fatigue, headaches, or backaches. But don’t just look at what your body inside you is doing, also look at what is going on around you, the symptoms of stress also include: irritability towards others, depression, anger, mood swings, forgetfulness, or the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Now, this can sound very stressful just reading this, but fear not for there are ways to reverse these stressful feelings, a ‘cure’ if you will, that includes: Developing a balanced lifestyle, meaning, keep in good health including a proper diet, and a proper sleep pattern (this can prove to be quite complicated on the schedule of a college student, but it must be done.) Also elementary in developing a balanced lifestyle can be smart scheduling. Try not to “race the clock”, and keep a healthy, well-timed schedule that leads to a comfortable lifestyle.

If there is a problem, discuss it. Like a bad disease, stress can only get worse if it is not dealt with. Sometimes, our view as human beings can become very narrow in regard to the case of perspective. It is not weak to seek the advice of others, not just to seek advice, but sometimes it can be therapeutic in just venting out your problems and organizing them. If any of these techniques don’t help you, then try enrolling in some sort of course involving meditation or any other therapeutic element. But most of all, find some sort of purpose. Sitting in your room alone, for hours on end, is a major factor in depression. Aimlessness can bring one down, in ways that are far above the rest of the problems.

So if you are a college student feeling stressed, don’t simply ignore it. Like any other health problem, it usually gets worse when not treated. Being in college can often be the most stressful period of our lives; but don’t let it go untreated, do something so that you can stay on track and enjoy the best years of our lives. Relax.

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