College students usually experience stress, and there are sometimes that are hard for students to focus and cope with stress. However, there are some ways for students to get help and manage stress.
According to UND’s Director of the Counseling Center Ken Carlson, nationally around 80 to 88 percent of college students experience stress sometimes during their time in school. “At student health services downstairs four out of their Top 10 presenting chief complaints are mental health complaints,” Carlson said. “By far and away number one stress.”
According to The National Institute of Mental Health, some of the causes of short-term stress are different changes to someone’s life. Some causes of long-term stress are problems at work or at home, financial problems and taking care of someone with a serious illness.
Carlson said stress usually occurs at the beginning of college for a lot of students because of the transition from high school to college and a larger workload. He said one factor that contributes to stress is there are a lot of expectations for students and the amount of work.
“I think a lot of the stress that more often than not that is reported to us or comes to us through our doors here seems to be social stress and social anxiety. The desire to fit in oftentimes is associated with the desire to perform and perform well.” Carlson said.
Carlson said one of the most important thing for students who are dealing with stress to do is to help. He said there are some workshops for students put together by the counselling center. The stress workshops are one hour each week and help assist students with stress management and some techniques, and students can learn how to learn about stress and the causes of it are.
Carlson said some ways for students to manage their stress are relaxation techniques, and he said some students who are really stressed out take psychotropic medications, and see a psychiatric provider. According to The National of Institute of Mental Health, the different signs of stress being unable to focus, feeling worried and feeling depressed. Physical signs of stress are headaches, back pain, sleep problems, and weight gain.
An article from The USA Today College “Three Surefire Tips for Managing Stress as a College Student” mentions being organized is a big key for students to reduce stress. Some other suggestions are having a healthy lifestyle by eating well and getting enough sleep as well as doing breathing exercises can help reduce stress, along with making sure students make sure to plan some time for activities that they enjoy doing. Some suggestions from the National Institute of Mental Health are to make sure to spend some time exercising along with talking to friends and family.
Val Becker who is a learning specialist and tutor coordinator at the academic success center said one way to manage academic stress is having good time management skills. She suggests students to plan a study schedule and write down what tasks to accomplish during their study time.
UND student Cole Bakke said taking a nap helps manage his stress along with taking small breaks from studying.
Cole Bobeldyk another student at UND does a variety different things to help manage stress.
“I have a stress ball I usually squeeze. I talk to my friends and people when I need to like cool down and relax,” he said. “I take breaks occasionally like go watch TV and play some Xbox and go back to studying.”
Bakke’s suggestions for other students in college who are stressed out are to take a break and a couple of deep breaths and to realize that stress is common for a lot of students. UND student Nathan Halverson’s advice for college students who are dealing with stress in school is to not cram and to not sit in the same place for a long period of time.
“When you’re overly stressed just take a break,” Bobeldyk said. “Because when you try to force something when you’re stressed because it’s not very effective at it.”
There are several resources here on campus to get help and information about stress. The Health Services and counselling center are in McCannel Hall. For more information, contact the counselling center at 701-777-2127, and the student health center at 701-777-4500. They are available for appointments from Monday through Friday from 8a.m to 4:30 pm. Their website is http://und.edu/health-wellness/.