Managing stress for students

Managing stress amid schoolwork and life responsibilities can be tough for students, but there are ways to make it easier. (Photo illustration by Emily Mello)

Often students can feel overwhelmed trying to find a way to manage school, work and other responsibilities they have — sometimes to the point where they are not sure how to manage the situation on their own. More often than not, people who suffer from stress, including students, can decrease their symptoms by taking the right steps.

According to the article “The College Student Mental Health Crisis (Update),” written by Gregg Henriques and published by Psychology Today, there continues to be an increase in college students seeking mental health treatment, referred to as the “college student mental health crisis.”

“In the 1980s … perhaps 1 in 10 college students could be readily characterized as needing/wanting/using some form of mental health treatment,” Henriques writes. “Now that number is 1 in 3, with trend lines rising.”

While students may often feel overly stressed, many of those enrolled at ARC say there is a variety of ways that they can lighten their load. Some of those students shared the tools they use to keep themselves at ease when they are under pressure.

Allison Linder, a freshman women’s volleyball player at ARC, said that when it comes to releasing stress, people have to find time in their day to take a step away from the coursework and focus on themselves.

“I would recommend people to make a list of their hobbies and pursue them,” Linder says. “Just spending 30 minutes of your day doing something that isn’t school and is something you love can change your mood and make you feel better.”

Summer McCallson, a communications major, says that finding something to ease stress is different for each person. McCallson says she finds it easier to write things down to get her thoughts out of her head.

“Try going to the gym, try going for a run, maybe go work on that essay you have been stressed about and free write or even take a couple minutes to write what has been on your mind,” McCallson says.

Linder says that while managing athletics and school can be a lot to handle, she found that playing volleyball is a great way to deal with her stress because it brought her a sense of calmness.

While Linder has found ways to release her stress, she still recommends to stay on top of assignments and not to procrastinate because some stress is preventable.

“I believe a little stress is good because stress means you care,” Linder says. “Stress pushes you to get stuff done. Stress begins to get overbearing when the stress becomes uncontrollable.”

For McCallson, it is normal to feel small amounts of stress as a student. McCallson says that if there is time to spare between classes or work, take advantage of those opportunities so the stress levels don’t overflow.

“It is important for college students to find an outlet to release stress,” McCallson says. “If you’re [comfortable], find a classmate and exchange numbers with them. That way you can balance each others stress levels for that class or even going to tutoring may help the stress and procrastinations of completing an assignment.”

There are places on the ARC campus, like the Meditation and Reflection Space, that are designed for students to use when they need a space to take a moment to themselves.

The Meditation and Reflection Space can be found in the Student Center inside the Center for Leadership and Development.

If students want to use the rooms they can be reserved for 30 minutes at a time from noon to 2 p.m. The rooms can also be reserved for a little as 15 minutes. Reservations can be made for the Meditation and Reflection Space at the front counter in the CL&D.

“Each and every individual has their own ways to cope with things,” McCallson says. “But, never be afraid to try new coping mechanisms to try and release some if not all of your stress.”

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About the Author

Makenna Roy
Makenna Roy is in her first semester writing for the Current and in her final semester at American River College. Roy is transferring to Sacramento State in the fall of 2019, at CSUS she plans on working towards obtaining her bachelor’s degree in both journalism and political science.

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