Monday, November 10, 2008

College Stress

Walking The College High Wire
By Eric Meron

Standing high above the center ring on a platform the performer takes a deep breath before stepping out to journey across the tiny metal wire stretched out in front of him. There is no need to look down because he knows there is no net to catch him if he falls.

Some may say the stress the performer is feeling during his walk is felt by all college students at sometime during their college career. Like the high wire performer the students need to balance their social life and their school obligations.

The key thing to remember is that everyone is experiencing stress on one level or another. Do not think you are alone or that no one can understand how you feel because not everyone experiences stress in the same way. What one person feels is stressful another may feel is trivial.

No one will ever go through college without stress, so since we cannot complete eliminate it we should learn how to deal with it. Each individual needs to find their own way to deal with stress.

The University of Florida Counseling Center lists several ways to relieve stress and there are two that I believe to be the most effective for the widest margin of people.

The first method is just taking a walk. Remove yourself from the situation and just clear your head. Go get a cup of coffee or ice cream. Do something that makes you feel good. Since we go to school in New York City we have a abundance of things within walking distance of wherever you live.

The second method the center mentions is music. We all know how music effects our mood, but I think we do the opposite of what we should . When we are sad we listen to depressing songs that contain depressing lyrics. I think we need to listen to uplifting music that makes us feel good. Put on the song that makes you smile and sing out loud. Turn up the volume and sing away the stress. New York is such an amazing place you just put in your ear buds and just stroll around the city to your personal soundtrack. You are in the greatest city on earth where anything can happen and you should feel that way.

One last method is one that I use. Just do something that makes you laugh or smile no matter what you feel beforehand. I have watched a funny movie or comedy routine. I like sports so watching a game helps me.

Keep things in perspective. A midterm, final or paper is not the end of the world. The trick is in the planning. Most students do not leave themselves enough time to prepare or write. No one is saying you cannot have a social life. Just do not extend yourself so much socially that it was cause an enormous amount of stress during the semester.

Stress is as much a part of college as studying and exams. Learning how to deal with it and making sure not to put yourself on a worse situation by overextending yourself socially. Remember we are here to get an education and pave the way for our future.

Laugh, smile and have a drink. We all know that method works.

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