Thursday, October 25, 2007

You’re Stressed? It Could Be A Lot Worse
By Kelly Lafarga

Like any college student, I relate to that overwhelming feeling of stress. That painful feeling that there’s not enough time in the day to do everything that has to be done. That feeling that somehow ends up affecting every aspect of your life.

“It is easy to get caught up in a problem or a narrow view of something you are doing, and to lose perspective and feel that a failure or roadblock is a catastrophe,” according to the University of Florida Counseling Center.

It’s extremely important to remember that whatever is stressing you out is probably not as big a problem as you think it is in the larger scheme of things. I get so worked up with my everyday problems. As soon as I pick up a newspaper, I realize that things could be a lot worse. I read about war and poverty and suddenly my problems don’t seem so bad. However, no matter how much you try to put your life into perspective, the stressful feelings always seem to creep back up on you.

Sometimes I find it turning into a vicious never-ending cycle. First I’m stressed that I have a lot of work to do, then I wallow in those feelings and end up not doing the work, then I attempt to do the work, but I’ve already wasted so much time wallowing and I get more stressed. This has happened more times than I can remember. I know I’m not the only one that goes through this, and that always makes me feel a little bit better.

Many things play into the stress that college students have. It’s not only the workload. Most of the time the student is moving to a new city. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in a new place. They also don’t know many people. This adds a feeling of loneliness. All of these things, plus the workload factored in can only result in stress. I’m not even mentioning the students that have to work at the same time to support themselves. Sometimes teachers don’t understand and don’t take these things into consideration.

Outside issues can directly affect what kind of work you’re going to produce and therefore how much stress you might take on. Once last year everything seemed to be falling apart and I couldn’t find a way to get out of it. My father passed away in the middle of fall semester at Marymount Manhattan College. I suddenly had no drive to do any work or go to any of my classes. I felt like I should have been excused from doing all of my responsibilities.

This was not the case, however. Although teachers were understanding, I still had to get all my work done and show up to class. I sat in class and didn’t pay attention and I rarely did any work. As the semester was ending, I began to stress out immensely. All of a sudden I had tons of work to do and hardly any time. On top of that, I was still dealing with the loss of my father and maybe about a dozen other problems. Many students have their own stories to tell with feelings of outside forces that can cause excessive stress in school. It’s so easy to let your personal life affect your performance in school.

The truth is a college student who is not stressed out is rare. In fact, it’s pretty impossible to find one. What’s important to remember is that we’re all going through it and some day it will come to an end. We will have plenty of other things to worry about. The thoughts of impossible deadlines of a 10-page paper, however, will not be one of them, unless you become a writer and in that case, you’ll be getting paid for it.

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