Stress management important in college

Ashley Jung

It’s around midnight on a Wednesday, about halfway through the spring semester and there is no option of sleep in the near future.

Staying up all night, feeling overworked and cramming to get five classes worth of homework done before it becomes too late to be accepted is life for college students.

As college students, stress is something that comes with the experience. We are struggling to work extra hours to pay the fee increases, staying up late to get loads of homework done so we can hopefully graduate in four years and sleeping erratic hours while pumping our bodies with caffeine and sugar to stay awake.

Stress is a common state of being that usually goes away on its own within a matter of days. If things get too severe, however, stress is one of several factors that can lead to depression which is much harder to shake off.

A study by the American Psychological Association found almost half of all college students nationwide said they felt depressed during the past school year and it became difficult to focus and function.

The study also concluded the number of students on psychiatric medicines has increased more than 10 percentage points over the last 10 years.

The workload put upon students is outrageous. There are so many overlapping, stress-inducing situations students encounter each day, it’s no wonder the study came to these results.

Yes, this is college and more work is to be expected, but not to the point where students are pulling all-nighters multiple times a week.

Then there’s “dead week” most all campuses have. It’s the week before finals where classes are simplified or canceled, library and study buildings are open later and quiet hours are increased in an attempt to ease stress.

These changes may help, but they are hardly enough.

I was curious, so I took an online evaluation from the “ULifeLine” website to find out what my stress and depression levels are. It asked me a series of questions about what I feel on a day-to-day basis and what my school and work schedule look like.

According to this test created by Duke University Medical Center, I may be experiencing depression and post-traumatic stress.

I’m taking 18 units, currently unemployed and have parents who are divorced. I’d consider myself an average person, doing less than most other students on campus.

If my test results look this bad, I can‘t imagine what the test would say about those students who are in school full time, working 30 hours a week and trying to have a social life.

Going into college, students know what to expect in terms of homework and a full class schedule, but college students have more on their plate than most people realize and we aren’t informed of a healthy option to talk about it.

Until things change in the world of academia, students need to take care and watch their stress levels.

Students need to take a deep-healing breath and make time to relax.

So go take a walk in between classes, have a weekly “date night” where you go out with friends and just relax. Do yoga or some form of physical activity releasing endorphins and if things get too confusing, talk to someone at The Well who can help you learn to manage your stress.

No matter how hectic or stressful life can get, you are always in control and can take a break for yourself.


Ashley Jung can be reached at [email protected]