Stressed-out students have options available
One thousand students nationwide commit suicide every year because of stress, said Mike Kirk, the Director of counseling and career planning services.
Stress is a part of everyday life in college. Some students know how to cope, but some do not. Between working, taking care of families, budgeting money, personal problems and going to school, it stretches students’ resources. Stress differs from person to person.
When dealing with stress, students have to understand how the stress is beginning to affect them and identify the problem.
“As soon as it’s affecting their lives and happiness, they should seek intervention,” said Aresh Assadi, student development specialist.
The signs of psychological stress include changes in behavior and appearance, changes in academic performance, thinking about harming oneself or someone else, and signs of drug or alcohol abuse.
Health services screen clients under stress for depression and anxiety. Marie Sandusky, Director of health services, said 10 percent of these clients have some signs of depression and anxiety in which stress could be the cause.
“It’s important for students to recognize their emotions and be able to express their emotions appropriately,” Sandusky said.
There are four T’s students must follow to manage stress: take control, take care of your body, take care of
your mind and time management. Finding the tools that work for you is the first step of taking control.Several of these tools can be found in Student Health 101, a publication from health services.
One tool it explained was backdating. When doing school projects, speeches or studying for a test, students must set a time ahead to get plenty done in time. The first step in backdating is to divide assignments into separate parts and set up deadlines for each part.
Students should take control of their finances, as well as their mind, body and work schedule. There are different ways of how to track finances. Student Health 101 also offered several tips on budgeting, avoiding overspending and setting financial goals.
Kognito, an interactive online simulation, can provide training for managing stress and assisting those who are struggling. It trains participants to identify people in distress, discuss their struggle with them and refer them to resources that can help them get on track. More information about Kognito, including log-in information, is available on the dean of students webpage.
Kirk said that students can manage their stress with a little planning and foresight. “Once they have a strategy to manage stress, they know how to handle it,” he said.