Monday, November 10, 2008

College Stress

Stress In The City
By Jordan Price

The “Sex and the City” theme song blasts as an alarm from my cell phone at promptly 7:00 am Tuesday mornings. I muster enough energy to get myself out of my bed and begin getting ready for my 8:30 class, located on the Upper East Side in New York City. I am tired, have been up all night writing a paper, and the only voice that I hear in my head is a taunting and tempting “Go back to sleep…”

The apartment building provided by my college, Marymount Manhattan College, is located on Roosevelt Island, yes, the “Tram” island. I wait outside in the freezing cold for the “little red bus” that will take me to the tram. After the five minute bus ride, it is time to soar across the sky in the Roosevelt Island Tram car, which takes me to 60th street, where I begin my walk to school.

Whew. That’s quite the commute for simply getting to class. I sometimes wonder, why didn’t I choose to go to school in my home state of Pennsylvania where a majority of my fellow high school graduates attend college, including my boyfriend and best friends. Wouldn’t life be so much less stressful?

Imagine, rolling out of bed, throwing on some sweats, where unlike “trendy” New York City, everyone keeps as a staple outfit for most days, and walk a few minutes to the next building across a large, beautiful lawn for class. A commute of about five minutes tops! But wait, stop! Snap back to reality! You’re in the stress capital of the world, NYC, so get with the program! And although life would be a lot less stressful, there is some energy on this island that keeps New Yorkers alive and thriving, despite the greatest stresses.

According to the University of Florida Counseling Center, stress can be dealt with by consistently practicing some methods to help with our worst, stressed out moments. A balance of organization, reliable outlets to vent off your steam to, keeping a positive outlook, and practicing relaxation techniques can all help keep our frustrations at bay.

Now as a college student, one may think, I have five courses a week, work, a social life, and extra-curricular activities to master! How on earth am I supposed to add relaxation techniques when my roommate is blasting hardcore metal music in the background? A positive outlook when the F train is under construction and I’m bound to be late for my 7:15 pm class? It is these little, tedious moments where stress seeps in and forms a bubble around us, that sometimes, seems impossible to pop.

But, I suppose we chose to be New Yorkers, we chose to further our education in the crazy, but exciting Big Apple. So, if we would like to reduce our stress, we can choose to find time and effort to practice some sacred “me” time to help ease our troubles and fight that annoying little thing called stress, if only for five minutes, if that is all we can manage. These little tips can help keep stress at a reasonable level and keep us a little happier, if only until the next 7:00 am “Sex and the City” wake up call.

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