Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My Monday Morning Stress Routine: It Works
By Jennifer Rozansky

It’s a Monday morning; I get up for a morning exercise at 6 a.m. and then make my way to my full day of classes on and off from 8:30 a.m. till 10:00 at night. Although, it is a tough routine every week, I’m able to balance everything and have it all organized in a way with the purpose of everything being done at the same time (including meals and my therapy appointment) so that I do not stress myself out with time management. College students have an enormous amount of stress do deal with and everyone knows that college life is stressful and maybe even more prominent than afterwards and being in the work force.

According to the University of Florida’s counseling center, they provide information on the symptoms of stress to the management of stress. Some examples of the symptoms of stress come from different areas such as physically, emotionally, and cognitive symptoms. So, a key to remember when looking at symptoms is the fact that there are so many different people could show a range of symptoms from ulcers to forgetfulness. Although they mention symptoms such as depression and anxiety, it has been in my experience and from counseling that I know for a fact that my symptoms of depression and anxiety do not come from stress but other areas of my life.

Stress is a big problem and can affect many students with their work. The counseling center also mentioned ways to manage your stress with a few guidelines, “Understand your role in stress reactions, develop a balanced life-style and effective personal organization, learn specific relaxation techniques, gain perspective on problems by discussing them, and clarify your values and develop a sense of spirituality.” Not only do the symptoms range from person to person, but the ways of dealing with it vary from person to person as they also point out ways to deal with it, such as, developing a balanced life style, gaining a perspective by discussing problems you may have, specific relaxation techniques, and being able to clarify your values and develop a sense of life meaning. The first thing to remember is finding out where it is coming from and then finding your own way that will help you deal with it.

All in all, my biggest advice from my knowledge if you think you are someone dealing with a great deal of stress is to go to therapy. Almost all the ideas the university discussed with ways of dealing with stress can be done with a therapist. Among the help of a therapist they can help you break down everything to find out what exactly your stress may be coming from and help you deal with it. Discussing your problems and finding a way to “vent” to someone is the best self-help there is. The last advice is time management. Like my Monday schedule, and putting everything in order, makes one less thing that you have to worry about or deal with.
The Woes Of A Liberal Arts Major
By Mark Moran

It’s an American ritual; at eighteen we throw our children either into the work world or further into the academic world. Either way a young person is tossed, they are faced with a bevy of choices. The most important and most common is a career choice. With adolescence almost behind them and childhood becoming a fading memory, the hopes for careers like astronaut or super model seem unlikely when looking into the grim face of the real world. So one by one our wide-eyed youths settle.

The future astronauts become business majors and the models get jobs at the Gap. These young people have accepted their descent into mediocrity and can feel relaxed when learning about the stock market or folding v-neck sweaters.

Unfortunately, some of us can’t settle. We want bigger and better things, but the means for this grandiose life is still undetermined. We live in the middle. We are the liberal arts majors. Everyday, we wonder what exactly a degree in Communication or English actually means. We toss and turn in our small dorm room beds, trying to remember if we were ever good at anything. For an unlucky few, what they learn from those long nights is that they have been slightly above average in everything.

Therefore, sticking to one field or career is nearly impossible. This means only one thing for this unfortunate breed of liberal arts majors – stress.

Working towards a degree in anything is stressful. Working towards a degree that’s use is unknown is like diet soda: it’s the exact same drink but not as sweet and could give you cancer. According to the University of Florida Counseling Center, some symptoms of stress include: headaches, anger, backaches, forgetfulness, and difficulty concentrating. The University of Florida needs to add one more symptom to their list: losing your mind. That’s what many oh-so-lost liberal arts majors are looking for, their mind. We’re not only looking for the remnants of our sanity, we’re also looking for guidance.

Twice a year we meet with our advisor to discuss registration for the next semester. Why can’t we have some meetings about life goals, or just to clarify the meaning of our degree that we are paying so much money for? College is a time when you begin to define what you want from the world. For some of us, we need a little extra help. A business major may call us babies, but that business major once wanted to be an astronaut. Maybe our advisor wanted to be one too. There is nothing wrong with accepting a more realistic career, as long as you remain a generally happy person.

But some of us won’t be happy sitting in a cubicle praying that it’s someone’s birthday so we can get free cake. For us who are cubicle-phobic, we need the institutions to help us. We need meetings with our advisors to discuss a future, not just next semester. We need thorough explanations of what we can do with our degrees. What we are asking for, in essence, is guidance.

This American ritual of forcing a young person to decide what they want to do with their life before they can legally have a beer is not only stressful, it is also unfair. The least our parents, teachers, and schools can do is offer a little guidance. Help us work towards a recognizable goal; don’t let us be diet soda.
That Thing We Have Called Stress
By Ben Peryer

Spring break: a time for college students to get away from the biggest drag, college. Whether it is to Montreal, north of the border, or Cancun, south of the border, spring break gives students everywhere a time to party, get drunk and have sex!

At least, that’s what I thought. Spring break is no longer a time for students to forget about their stresses. In fact, with the countless number of responsibilities students are faced with today, it hardly feels like a break at all.

Any college student would be offended to hear that they have got it easy in the world. In commenting on a mid-term being distributed in class right before spring break, a professor of mine said, “once you’ve finished the test, you can go off to the beach with your margaritas and live it up like you do.”

Like we do? If living it up means going to work to pay for college, going to classes, going to an internship, going back to work to pay for the rent, back to classes, and then back to the internship, sure. We college students are surely living it up. It seems, nameless professor, I have forgotten to include studying for that mid-term, among others, which you’ll be distributing, like you do.

Fortunately for us busy college students. Our busy lives have not gone unnoticed.

The University of Florida Counseling Center has reported that an excess of stress among college students is likely to be very harmful and appropriately acknowledges the high level of stress among college students today compared to that idyllic time when there are few worries and responsibilities.

The environment in which college students find themselves is one of the main contributing factors in this high level of stress. Social stresses, such as finances, work and personal lives are also major contributors. These factors can result countless emotional symptoms, including irritability and depression, as well as physical symptoms, such as muscle tension.

So that is why I am a 19-year-old with back problems?

It is further suggested by the University of Florida Counseling Center to develop a balanced life, discuss problems, and practice specific relaxation techniques.

I would get into those, but I just do not have the time.
Stress: Developing My Cure
By Laura Matteri

Money, work, school, relationships, emotions, time management, and illness … I bet you got a headache just reading that. Basically, life creates stress. The question is – how do we deal with it every day? Even though we feel like we’re going to die because of the different stresses every day, there are things we can do for ourselves to relax. And don’t worry – it doesn’t take too long.

Stress affects mostly everyone on a daily basis. It may even change day by day. According to the University of Florida’s Counseling Center, the primary sources of stress are your environment, physiological standings, your thoughts, and social stressors. Basically that breaks down into my mood, whether I’m sick or healthy, my job, my bank account, school, traffic… my life! I can’t seem to understand how I can depict one aspect of my daily routine to blame for my stress.

As a college student, I deal with the typical stress factors. Classes, money, striving to do well in school, pressure from parents to make it “worth their while,” figuring out what I want to do with my life, in addition to trying to have a social life. I, as well as every other college student, usually ignore the majority of those things. If I didn’t, I might go crazy. While everything is time consuming, there are days when I make myself take a deep breath and realize that I live in one of the most amazing cities in the whole world, New York.

I find that doing one thing for myself every day helps lower the stress level. Whether that’s going to my favorite store, splurging on a nice dinner with friends, or walking to Central Park to go running, these things help me clear my mind for the time being. I usually come home to do homework or write a paper whose deadline is fast approaching.

As silly as it may sound, there are also days when I just need to talk to my mother. Somehow, she helps me balance my juggling act of activities and due dates for projects. I find that talking to someone who I trust about things going on in my life help me to get a better outlook on situations. For some people, family or friends may not be the best option when looking for someone to talk to. A stranger may work better, which is where speaking to a professional therapist comes in. Giving up about an hour each week can help you control your life. Hearing the problems out loud gives a better grip on your life.

The University of Florida’s Counseling Center also says that relaxation techniques are extremely valuable tools in stress management. I find that yoga and steaming in a sauna do help me to clear my mind and focus on what’s important, but I also disagree with the University’s idea. There are many days when I am so frustrated and stressed, I want to go on a long and demanding run, whether it’s on the treadmill or on the road that I live on. The idea of just running until I can’t anymore is helpful to me because I feel like I’m letting my anger out about certain things. That way, when I go home, I can forget about the feelings I have that won’t help the situation or make it go away. This creates a focus method and I can move on.

I find that staying organized also helps me reduce stress. If I can see everything that I have to do for a certain day or deadline, I feel at ease. I know that I’m not forgetting anything and I see how much time I can procrastinate until I really have to sit down and get it done. Oh right, procrastination – another huge part of reducing my stress. I know it’s a bad thing, but I think a little leeway is acceptable.

And, as always, after months of stressful events, I need a break. Spring Break, to be exact. This is one of the last things I am writing before I collapse on a sunny beach for an entire week. Taking time for yourself is well deserved for everyone. Clear your head, enjoy yourself, and then prepare for the next segment. Back to work, back to the hustle and bustle of the city, and back to the plans of organization and the little things in life that make it enjoyable.
A Guide To Getting A Degree: Stress Free?
By Aimee La Fountain

Congratulations. After the ever-stressful process of college applications is through, you may now proceed onward to the next level of stress: being a college student. Our society tells us that if we seek a good education (and can afford to pay the ungodly tuition) one can potentially obtain a “successful job.” In order to get that pretty little degree, however, one must endure a rigorous course load and various other difficulties that come with college life. And, how do I know this? I am a student amidst my sophomore year of the lovely little college experience.

But fear not, worried college student! The University of Florida Counseling Center recognizes the ordeal that college student’s experience. They have boiled down all the stresses that college students experience and solve the matter in their own little neat package of tips for the stressed student. Remember those horribly morbid pamphlets that the school nurse used to hand out telling you how to avoid various deadly diseases? Well, the University of Florida is offering one more batch of advice to add to the pile. As a child, I took great pleasure in taking my life in my own hands and tearing these pamphlets apart. Now I shall do the same, figuratively, with this latest installment of regurgitated generic guidelines to living perfectly.

In case you weren’t sure of the symptoms of stress, the UFL Counseling Center conveniently lists them for you. They identify such issues as “difficulty sleeping” and “indigestion.” Let me elaborate on this for you, kids. What those mild little titles actually mean is prepare for your diets to be reduced to any sort of comfort food that will temporarily reduce stress. (Hello, freshman 15!) And “difficulty sleeping”? Well, don’t be alarmed if you finally nestle in to bed only to find yourself up for hours (yes hours) plagued with visions of yourself living in a cardboard box. (For New Yorkers, this is prime real estate.) And, allow me to add a symptom: recurring urges to pull out your hair (this is a familiar sight in any college dorm across America). Yes, spend a little time in college and you may find that Britney Spears doesn’t seem so weird after all.

Once you have diagnosed yourself as “stressed” according to the UFL Counseling Center, you can proceed with the Center’s stress saving steps. The center advises that one should “develop a balanced life.” The center says, “someone who is always feeling overwhelmed, eats poorly, and doesn’t get enough sleep… usually has a limited ability to cope with stressful events.” To that I would say that the very lifestyle that they are describing is precisely what is stressful. Furthermore, I would like to know how researchers at the center would handle matters differently if they had to pay their own way through college. Many students today fit the center’s description of the stressed student because they are working at the same time as they are enrolled in college. To tell these students that they have a “limited ability to cope with stressful events” is nothing short of an insult.

Finally, the UFL Counseling Center leaves us with some parting philosophical advice. They advise students to “Clarify your values and develop a sense of life meaning.” They assess that “General unhappiness and a sense of aimlessness or lack of purpose often cause stress.” I certainly consider myself a student that aspires for a life of purpose. There are, however flaws in our society that conflict with this aspiration. Even after September 11th, America’s firemen still don’t receive a fair salary. Countless teachers begin each school year by shelling out a significant portion of their own money for school supplies. The Secretary of Defense receives a substantial paycheck while our servicemen and women risk their very lives overseas daily for meager salaries. Sometimes “purpose” simply doesn’t pay the rent.

Despite all of these challenges, I still find college to be the most rewarding experience of my life. And, I understand that stress is a practically a requirement to be productive in college. But, let’s be real here. Many students bear complicated circumstances to get that coveted degree. And not all of the problems that college students face today may be cured through the remedies found in a pamphlet.
Start Aiming, Stop Thinking, Stop Stressing (And Be A Shot-Caller)
By Matt Rasmussen

A wise man once said, “I dont know what, they want from me/It’s like the more money we come across/The more problems we see”. Actually, that wasn’t said by a wise man, but rather some hit-making hoochies singing on 1997’s “bomb joint”, “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems” by Notorious B.I.G. featuring Ma$e and Puff Daddy. And apparently this wasn’t all that wise, or true, either – if we’re to believe our friends at the University of Florida Counseling Center.

If you’re anything like me, you deal with quite a bit of stress on a daily basis. Even if you’re not like me, things like school, your job, your family, relationships, friends, roommates, health, and money can lead to a bevy of worries and not all of them are necessary, says the Center.

I know what you’re saying – what do a bunch of people who get to bask in the sun and enjoy vast beaches and phenomenal weather know about stress, right? Quite a bit, apparently – and believe it or not, a lot of it seems worthwhile.

“Before condemning stress outright, we need to understand that stress is only harmful when it is excessive. Much of the stress that we all experience is helpful and stimulating,” is one of the first concepts the Counseling Center offers to us. It’s their hypothesis that stress adds excitement to our lives, and allows us to cope with “stressful situations”.

So why is everyone stressing? University of Florida says that it’s good for us in small doses, what’s the problem with a little extra excitement in our lives? The school tells us that excessive stress can lead to physical symptoms like headaches or tension, emotional symptoms, like irritability, and even cognitive symptoms like forgetfulness.

While “I couldn’t find my homework because I have a lot of stress right now” might not be any more likely to fly than an anecdote about a canine with a hankerin’ for some homework, the idea of being more alert and happier with less stress is intriguing to most. It’s not so much that it’s a new concept, but rather, a Zen-like state which many students would rule near impossible to achieve.

One of the options offered by the school for combatting stress is setting a goal, such as Murda Ma$e’s aspiration to continue pursuing his dream of a music career until his name is featured on a blimp. The article suggests that we think about what we are trying to achieve in life, whether that be long-term or short, and why we are not currently satisfied with how things are going. By deciding what one is striving for, it allows them to make life choices in accordance with their goal. While I think this is sound advice, to me it seems rather narrow. Most people have quite a few goals, personally, professionally, and whatever they may be – they may not be completely related. To define them all and make life choices in accordance won’t necessarily help weed out stress, but rather can lead one to thinking they are not making progress at all.

The piece goes on to explore the idea of clarifying one’s relationship with religion, or nature. Were you expecting this to be dismissed and relegated to a one-line comparison to pop-culture shrapnel of yester-year? Actually, I found this pretty reasonable. Maybe it’s because I’m one of those “Hollywood Liberal Types” or maybe it’s because it’s true, but most likely, it’s both. The ideas suggested of taking ten or fifteen minutes to just sit, relax, and decompress are something I find allows me a lot of time to myself. By sitting quietly and shutting off the world, at least for me, I cannot worry about the things that are stressing me, and rather be in a bizarre, limbo-esque state where this does not matter.

I’m not quite sure if there is a true way to stop thinking, but if there is, I rest assured that the University of Florida is trying to deduce it. Even if they are a little preachy and academic, let’s not knock those Florida cats, a’ight? Let’s all just sit back, take a second (or fifteen minutes) to think about nothing at all, and set some lofty goals for ourselves. Life doesn’t have to be consumed with worrying – sometimes it can be about positivism. Let’s all just take a cool, confident approach, one with a long-term plan and realistic, attainable goals. Let’s look to those before us and take in those after us, and think about our options. Let’s set tangible goals like Sean Combs a/k/a Sean John a/k/a Puff Daddy a/k/a P. Diddy a/k/a Diddy: “Ten years from now we’ll still be on top/ Yo, I thought I told you that we won’t stop”.
That Queasy Feeling In Your Stomach Could Surely Be Stress
By Parisa Esmaili

Your heart is racing and the feeling of vomit that lodges between your esophagus and mouth gradually come closer and closer to actual projection. The stomach pains that you mistook earlier for food poisoning turn out to be butterflies that insist on staying with you throughout the day and your sweaty-palm syndrome does not have any intentions of stopping.

As you wipe your hands down the side of your jeans for the umpteenth time, you begin to run down the list of things you need to do before the day ends. Or, by the way you’re taking it, before the month ends. Intern 9:00 am - 1:30 pm; work 2:00 - 7:00; school 7:30 -10:00; then there’s dishes that have been in the sink for two days, massive piles of unaccomplished homework, e-mails, and bills, and perhaps if you find the time, taking a “personal,” but those never seem to exist. Congratulations, stress has successfully taken over your body and mind once again.

Stress has no equal. The fact that it is something you can overcome makes it more difficult to understand why we allow it to take over us. According to the University of Florida’s Counseling Center, stress comes from the environment you live in- like the over-crowded streets, pollution, or loud traffic. It also comes from how you take care of yourself, your social environment, and yes, your very own thoughts; the part that so many of us try to escape.

Walk down the streets of New York or drive down any road in Kansas and you will see lips silently open and close as heads bobble back and forth. You see a smile that displays every pearl in their mouth until they realize they caught your attention and they blush in embarrassment. Either way, music is slowly alleviating the rendering thoughts that they wanted out. It puts people back at ease and reminds them life is fragile. Stress can put you between the ones you care for because it can be mistaken for extreme mood swings or severe depression. It also can take you on the discomforting journey of “the butterflies” and no reasons for anger.

The center encourages clarifying your values and deciding what you really want out of your life, can help you feel better about yourself and have that sense of satisfaction and centeredness that helps you deal with the stresses of life. If you work at developing a balanced life, and voice your problems, one finds their stress slowly dissipates.

While stress can put people on the out and really make you want to bash your head against the wall in some instances, stress can be good for you. It keeps you on your toes, and forces the procrastinators of the world to get their work done.
What We’re All Coming Down With
By Julie Buntin

Mondays are my busy days. Typically, I get up at around 8 a.m., leave my apartment by 9:30 and make it to class by 10:15. That is followed by another two classes separated only by ten minute breaks, catch the cross town bus to work, zip back across town for a night class, and make it home by 10 p.m. if I’m lucky, ready to face the list of homework that my syllabi has so kindly laid out for me. To bed by one or two, and the next day, I do it all again, only I’m up about an hour later.

My schedule, which leaves little time for meals on weekdays, is nothing compared to one of my roommate’s. She wakes up at a quarter to six every morning and gets home around ten every night from her part-time job at the Container Store, eats a frozen dinner, and studies until she goes to bed. I wish I could say I was exaggerating, even a little, but unfortunately, for college students in New York City this picture is pretty standard.

It’s no secret that life here is more hectic than anywhere else. For college students, I would venture to say that studying in New York City doesn’t provide a transition period; it’s a full-blown immersion in adult life. Unless you are rich enough (or your parents are) to survive without at least a part-time job, most of us juggle school and work and mass transit commutes with the more pleasant aspects of college life. Parties are rare, and relationships (at least in my experience) seem more volatile.

According to the University of Florida Counseling Center, high levels of stress can cause a variety of physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms that resemble illness. Muscular tension, fatigue, backaches, headaches, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and anxiety are among those listed. One of the symptoms, difficulty sleeping, is something I’m very familiar with. After long, break-neck days why is it I lay in bed for hours before falling asleep, only to do so just as the sky outside my window lightens and my alarm clock jars me awake? I’ll tell you why. Stress.

The next evening when my boyfriend calls, I snap at him and hang up five minutes into the conversation. On my way to class, I forget my notebook, or realize I read the wrong chapter or did the wrong assignment. These things don’t happen daily, but they happen often enough to make me worried. So now, on top of everything I have to deal with, I’m worried about my stress.

We were not prepared, my fellow students and I, for what college life really entails. As a kid, I imagined parties and long afternoons flipping through magazines while I ate pizza with my roommates. I envisioned smoky coffee shops and passionate conversations about Camus and 16th Century poetry. The University of Florida research describes four primary sources of stress. These include environmental factors (noise, pollution, and weather), physiological factors (inadequate sleep and nutrition), your thoughts (negative thoughts, repetitive thoughts, and perfectionism), and social stressors (financial problems, work demands, and social events). College life in New York City wallops students with all four of those stressors simultaneously and to the highest degree, which contributes to a loss of the college experience our parents thought was so enjoyable.

Despite being crippled with stress-inflicted illnesses, we can take a stand against stress. Better organizational skills can help bring the world back down to a manageable size, relates the University of Florida Counseling Center, and daily exercise and better nutrition in conjunction with relaxation techniques will all help reduce stress. Lately I’ve been finding the time to jog in the mornings and get in a good fifteen minutes or so of solid quiet time, so hopefully my sleepless nights and moments of panic will soon be things of the past. So try and treat yourself in the midst of overwhelming college life, and you won’t groan so loud when you hear about students at other colleges getting drunk at 10 a.m. during football season, apparently blissfully unstressed.
College Life Is A Challenge, Get Used To It
By Leigh Baker

Many students today are feeling that the pressures of college are simply too much. But why? College has recently become a necessary step in one’s life, so the stressors of it should be widely known. Students understand what they are getting into before they actually get into it, and if it truly is too much for them, there are many options that will help them to combat the stress they feel.

Sure, college isn’t easy. In fact, it’s pretty tough for most people. If students are not aware of this before they enter college, then something is going wrong in their years of preparation. Someone should tell them just what it is they are getting themselves into. After all, that is what the word “preparation” means: any proceeding, experience, or the like considered as a mode of preparing for the future, according to Webster’s Dictionary.

So, why are students now complaining that their education is interfering with their emotional well being? It is because they have never been told what to expect. If they were told, then they would have nothing to complain about.

The University of Florida Counseling Center names a few factors that contribute to stress among people of all ages. First, the environment is a stressor simply because it is not constant. Noise, traffic, weather, and crowding are all aspects of the environment, which certainly do not ease the mind. Next, physiological factors make life harder to deal with.

Things such as illness, injury, or hormones can elevate the stress level. On that note, lack of sleep, another physiological factor, is one thing that college students need to pay special attention to. Third are social situations. The university names things such as finances, work, social events, and losing a loved one as being strong instigators of anxiety. Finally, we come to personal thoughts. A negative-thinking person is obviously more likely to find themselves feeling blue. If students keep a close watch on these symptoms, especially if they are made aware of them before entering college, they will be able to effectively deal with the pressures that come with post-secondary education.

Besides this, however, if students still feel the need to gripe about their problems, there are plenty of things that can be done in order reduce their stress level. One thing is to develop a balanced lifestyle. This means eating right, sleeping enough, and balancing day-to-day activities. It’s also important to do something you enjoy, such as sports or recreation.

Additionally, students can discuss their problems with others, and thus, gain a wider perspective on their issue. It provides a sense of control, and allows students to move away from their bubble of negativity. Lastly, students should strive for meaning and keep their values in check. A lack of purpose can cause stress, so if students find things that provide satisfaction, a sense of contentment will accompany that.

All of these things are important to a student’s success in college. It certainly is not an easy task, but it’s not supposed to be. It is meant to be a challenging, trying period in one’s life, but if dealt with correctly, students will consider these years to be the most valuable thus far in their lifetime.
Stress Is A Fact Of Life
By Cara Schweikert

My Life. From the minute I open my eyes in the morning until I close them again at night, stress has become a part of my daily routine. I am a twenty-three year old college student, living in New York City, solely depending on myself to pay the bills, get good grades, keep a job and maintain a social life. Not easy and extremely, stressful. Sadly, I have become accustomed to getting “stressed out” on a daily basis, not only about my current lifestyle, but also what lies ahead in my future.

Moving here from Cleveland four years ago I came to succeed, failure is not an option, nor is the possibility of contracting the AIDS virus. Not only do I have to worry about the pressures of succeeding, I also am trapped in a world where casual sex is not an option, unless you want to roll the dice. My Life -- these are the facts.

However there are ways to go about balancing the stressful days and nights. As an individual we must understand the role we play in why our lives are stressful. This can include our schedules, life-style, and priorities. For example, I work as a bartender at night. My job requires me to drink with the customers,(this is one of the perks) because of this I choose only to work on the weekends, otherwise I know I will never make it to class during the week. Also, if I choose to spend Monday thru Thursday partying and hanging out with my friends, I will have no time to do my homework. So, I must force myself to maintain a schedule of My Life.

According to the University of Florida Counseling Center physical symptoms of stress can include some of the following: Muscular tension, repeated colds or other illnesses (also one of the symptoms of HIV), high blood pressure, indigestion, ulcers, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, depression, anger, anxiety, forgetfulness, and repetitive thoughts. Personally, I experience more than one of these symptoms daily which makes me feel as if I need to get help!

Luckily, the University of Florida Counseling Center provides information that various college campuses offer stress management groups to students. The management groups will offer students techniques such as developing a balanced lifestyle, gaining perspective by discussing problems and relaxation techniques. The challenge ahead is actually making time to learn and use these beneficial techniques.

Something that the Florida Counseling Center also stated that I could relate to, was that spirituality could also play a major role when dealing with stress. I have found that prayer above anything else has gotten me through the most stressful periods of My Life.

Food for thought.
Stress Sometimes Makes Me Hungry
By Lindsay Cooper

Stress is something all people—students, professionals, parents, friends, and partners can all relate to in different ways and quantities. A student may be stressed out because of an exam they haven’t prepared for, a parent may be stressed out because of a bill they have not paid on time, and a friend may be stressed out because her boyfriend is driving her crazy.

We all have different ways of dealing with the stressors in our lives as well. I know that I personally deal with it by talking to close friends, exercising at the gym, and even by eating A LOT. By eating a lot I mean I will have meal after meal that contain large quantities of grease and fat that I will look back in disgust.

Stress is such an uncomfortable, draining, and frustrating process that I would do anything to escape it if it’s taking over my life. I think it is important that if you are someone who is under a lot of stress constantly that you seek out ways to deal with it in healthy and productive ways. Stress can be dealt with by counseling and stress management skills as the University of Florida Counseling Center explains.

Looking back at the times when my life was overridden by stress, I found counseling very helpful. Sometimes it just helps to vent my frustrations to someone else, even if they aren’t doing anything productive for me. This person that you vent to does not even need to be a professional -- it can be a close friend who you feel would be attentive and useful.

Sometimes I think people need to talk to professional people in learning or relearning ways to cope with stress. This is important because I believe many people don’t really know how to deal with stress and even revert to negative and destructive ways of managing it. Otherwise, I feel people tend to think they don’t need professional advice and will deal with it on their own or even worse—disregard their struggle with stress.

Unfortunately the problem with not dealing with stress in effective ways is that a person may become overwhelmed and crash. In this state, people can develop serious mental and physical problems if they don’t address their ways of coping with stress. The University of Florida’s Counseling Center outlines some of these problems; developing ulcers, high blood pressure, muscular tension, depression, and mood swings.

If its one thing I have to say about dealing with stress, HUMOR helps a great deal. Often I think people associate stress with being a negative and even fearful state. However, I think it is important to gain perspective, sit back, and laugh once in awhile even if what you find humorous is not really that funny.
My Stress Had Taken On A Life Of Its Own
By Hillary Trautmann

Since the day I began to look at colleges, all I have known is stress. My parents constantly questioning me drove me nuts, me questioning myself about what I really wanted drove me nuts, and the fact that I had a deadline to decide my future was driving me nuts. When I finally did decide where I wanted to go to school, I felt stress-free, but as soon as I began college the stress was back. Now, as a third year student in college, stress has become a part of me. So what can I, and all other college students do about their stress?

First and foremost we must search to find where our stress is coming from. According to the University of Florida Counseling Center there are four sources of stress, which are, the environment, physiological sources, your own thoughts, and social stressors. So where is your stress coming from?

There are also many symptoms that come from stress. The University of Florida Counseling Center states that there are physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms. Some of the physical symptoms are muscular tension, colds or other illnesses, ulcers, indigestion, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, headaches, and backaches. The emotional symptoms can include, irritability, depression, anger, fear or anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, and mood swings. The cognitive thoughts include forgetfulness, unwanted or repetitive thoughts, and difficulty concentrating.

So, who wants to deal with all of this? Luckily, there are ways to ward of stress. One of the easiest ways for college students like myself is to attempt to develop a balanced life style. I know that I am always running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Even when I do have time for things, I find myself not being able to concentrate and end up rushing around. The University of Florida Counseling Center states that a good way to develop a balanced life style is to make sure you get an appropriate amount of sleep, eat in a way that is healthy for you, exercise a few times a week, and stay on top of what you need to stay on top of. Ignoring your responsibilities because you are too stressed out will only make things worse in the long run.

A solution that I have found that works well for me is purchasing a planner. Although looking at everything you have to may seem stressful, just think about how good it will feel when you begin to cross things off your list! I will tell you, it feels amazing. You begin to feel accomplished and may even begin to realize that maybe you have been making things harder on yourself then they really are.

The best thing to do for you is really to give yourself some relaxation time. Even if it is only for a few minutes a day, sitting back and reflecting on your life in a positive light can make all of the difference, and hopefully make all of your problems disappear, and become solutions.