Stress Levels

8 Apr

No matter what semester you are in during your college career, you are going to have to deal with stress. While some stress is good and healthy for you, there are times that stress can become too overwhelming for a college student. The best thing you can do is to evaluate if you are dealing with your stress in a healthy manner or if you need to seek more support. Being a senior in college, I have undergone a lot of different types of stress. In some instances, I have dealt with my stress in healthy ways and others I had a hard time coping with my stress levels. To get an idea of the different types of stress, I have decided to label them to give you a better idea of what I’m talking about. 

The first level of stress is little/normal:

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This type of stress is something that college students feel on a regular basis and is good for you! We have all chosen the college life and that comes with a lot of factors like classes, frequent assignments/quizzes, as well as a jobs/internships or any other extracurriculars you have decided to take on. We can all agree this is constant stress, but we have adapted to it to the point you may not even recognize it as stress anymore; it’s more of a lifestyle. We have developed a healthy way to deal with this type of stress, even if you’re not aware of it. For me, going throughout my week, I designate time for fun things, try to incorporate a workout schedule (doesn’t always pan out), and make sure I am getting good sleep. I’m sure you have your own schedule for this, but it’s good to remind yourself you are going through stress even if you don’t see it that way. I wanted to start with this level of stress first because you are already pro in coping with this and actually SUCCEEDING with stress. As more stress is put on you, take the time to think about how you deal with stress healthily and this is a good starting out point for that. 

The second level of stress is moderate:

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This can be focused around midterms or finals time. We are kind of doing our normal routine, but assignments for our classes are aligning with one another. You have to take extra time to make sure you are completing all of your assignments and having an appropriate time to study for multiple midterms/final exams. This is usually the time that healthy habits to deal with stress start going out the window a bit. For me, around this time I get less sleep, usually stop working out completely because I choose to use that time for studying and working on projects, and instead of cooking I rely on fast food or eat ramen to save time. Looking back at this time, I KNOW I am not dealing with my stress as I would normally do, but at the moment I don’t think about it. I just try to get through the hectic time. Stepping back and trying to evaluate if you are being healthy is difficult to do, but really necessary. 

The third level of stress is overload:

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This stress level is the worst on our list because your stress has become really overwhelming and it is affecting you a lot. It is so much that you try to seem okay, but at some point, you start breaking down and can’t put yourself back together by yourself. Unfortunately, I have dealt with this type of stress a lot over my college career because I have had a lot of family emergencies where my focus was not on school at all and my grades/assignments/classes/work were taking the hit. I had to lean on my loved ones and be upfront with my professors and supervisor about my situation, which I had never done before. This is where I was out of my element of how to even deal with my stress because I couldn’t get anything done. I was upset all of the time and had to get more support. Reaching out to my professors and supervisor was the BEST thing I could have done at the time because they were aware of my state of mind as well as gave me appropriate extensions. If you ever feel too overwhelmed where you can’t even get through your regular routine, reach out to the people around you. Also, consider talking about your stress with a counselor, or even CAPS here on campus. This can be really helpful and necessary to get yourself through your stress. 

In all points of your college career, check in on yourself and ensure you are handling your stress in a healthy way. Especially now with only a few more weeks to go until the end of the year, I know EVERYONE is feeling the pressure. Take the rest of the semester day by day and do your best to get through it. Don’t forget about the amazing resources on campus as well as use your support system of friends and family to help you through this difficult time. 

YOU GOT THIS!
Courtney

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