Stress: Help or Hindrance?

Wake up at 7 a.m. Get dressed for the day. Grab breakfast. Run to class. Find homework. Get tests back. Run to next class. Run to work. Run back to room. Do homework. See friends. Eat dinner. Go to meetings. More homework. Sleep. Repeat all over again.

Sound familiar? College students across the country face similar scenarios daily. In the midst of running, eating and sleeping, stress can latch onto this frenzy. In fact, according to Psychology Today, stress levels amongst college students are at an all-time high. Over the past few years, many studies have been done in order to identify the cause of stress, and the answers tend to vary.

For example, many students seem to develop a “seasonal depression” come December, which could account for many things, the first and most obvious being finals right around the corner. The stress that develops as the semester draws to an end is terrible, and many students find themselves lacking the motivation to finish well. One professor noted, in Psychology Today’s article, that, “many students within the U.S. must deal with snow and subfreezing temperatures that really leave students dragging by December.”

Stress is not a positive thing, no matter how you look at it. It defeats the immune system, therefore allowing disease and illness to creep into your body. It will ruin your ability to rest properly, and can even go as far as sending your brain into anxiety and depression.

Stress can age your body far faster than it is supposed to. According to a recent study in Medical News Today, it can even shrink the brain, therefore ruining the body’s abilities to cope with normal situations.

So what are we as students to do in order to prevent stress from ruining our future endeavors? First, we need to slow down and take a break. Developing healthy habits such as allotting time for homework and leisure is important, as well as setting a bedtime in order to sustain your health is vital. Exercise and a healthy diet can also help lower your stress levels and it is one less thing to worry about!

Stress is never a good thing; don’t let it ruin your college experience.

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