Students discuss how to handle stress

Many people say that college is the best time of their life. However, these critical years can be affected by stress, depression and anxiety. Several factors can affect stress levels for incoming and returning college students, including picking out classes, doing various assignments and participating in athletics.

A recent study from “The International Journal of Scientific Engineering and Applied Science” reported that, due to the rapid mental and psychological changes occurring during this age, college students may experience self-organization issues and confusion over what they want to do in the future.

“In my first year, I had very basic classes, but this year I have more major-related classes,” said sophomore Larab Zaman. “My stress level is at an eight or nine right now.”

Many Guilford students who have taken upper-level classes said that although these career-focused classes are intended to delve deeper into the respective subject, they force students to make quicker decisions about careers. Academics are a major reason for stress at the college level, especially because of high expectations from professors and parents. Students often feel the need to work continuously rather than in segments with  intermittent breaks between.

According to data from “The International Journal of Scientific Engineering and Applied Science,” some physical symptoms of stress include low energy, headaches, upset stomachs and insomnia. Stress can cause long-term effects on behavior and social compatibility. Some emotional symptoms of stress include feeling overwhelmed, being easily irritated or frustrated and feeling lonely. College students are affected even more by the rapid changes that are occurring as they move to new places, experience freedom of course selection and have high personal expectations in their work.

“The workload is a lot harder. I feel like there is never enough time to do everything. Being an athlete makes it hard too,” said junior Morgan Tompkins. “Trying to balance everything is really hard.”

Many student athletes find it difficult to be a productive student and a competitive athlete at the same time. Pressure from coaches to play well and from professors to perform well academically can cause students to have less time to relax and do things that they enjoy.

Some students believe that the sudden increase in stress during college is due to the different teaching styles used in college classes when compared to high school classes.

“In high school, it’s easier to do well because we have multiple tests and quizzes which give us more opportunities to improve. Also, in general, teachers are more involved in students’ lives and you get to know them better than your professors,” said Early College student Anahita Gupta.

Some ways that students can decrease their stress levels include taking the time to talk to friends, listen to music and eat well. Sticking to a sleep schedule and giving yourself time to relax before going to bed could also help decrease stress levels.