What They Don’t Tell You About Stress
By Rayanne Mulieri
College, “an institution of higher learning”; we all know that the main objective of going to college is to receive an education that will help you make goals for your future and ultimately prepare you for a career. College also has many other definitions not stated in the dictionary, things such as partying, friends, work, and other distractions. All of these aspects of college life culminate and provide practically all college students with stress!
When you ask your parents, or friends what their college experience was like they will probably remember the fun they had, the parties they went to, and the lifelong friends they made. Rarely will they mention the homework load, crunch time during mid-terms and finals, and getting good grades while balancing their social and work schedule.
From the ages of 18 to 21 you are supposed to be having the “best time of your life”, no responsibilities of taxes, or a career. What a majority of people do not understand is that being a full-time college student is a career in itself, and can provide teens and young adults with just as much stress as those in the “working world”.
The University of Florida Counseling Center has managed to look at college from the perspective of a student and explain in depth what stress is, how it may affect students, and how stress can be handled. The Counseling Center demonstrates a good point when explaining that stress comes from not only your environment and what you do on a daily basis, but also from your inner thoughts and inner psyche. Psychological stress can be shown through mood swings, anger, and even depression.
The University of Florida states “stress is often caused by general unhappiness and a sense of aimlessness or lack of purpose. People sometimes wind up making choices and living life styles that really don't fit them. A student may be studying accounting when he or she really wants to be an artist, or he or she may have a wide circle of friends, but not really have the kind of intimate relationships that feel fulfilling.”
These statements really struck me because I, as well as most other college students feel pressured to know “what we want to be, and do with our lives” when in all honesty practically all college students have no idea how to answer that question. College went from being a time of exploration to a time in your life when you must practice your craft, bulk up your resume, and be prepared to get a job.
What can college students do when all of these decisions, and problems are going on around them? Relax! Your initial stress of schoolwork and your busy schedule may be what is fueling other forms of stress such as thinking about your future, and relationships. I know when I think about aspects of my life I currently find stressful I begin to get hyperbolic and stress out over things that cannot directly affect my life as of now.
As the Counseling Center at Florida University explains, you must “develop a balanced lifestyle, gain perspective, use relaxation techniques, and clarify your values”. Stress will never go away, it is natural and occurs within everybody’s lives, the best you can do is deal with it in a healthy fashion and never forget that some stress you have may even develop into something positive.