Stress happens, but it doesn’t need to take over our lives.
Overwhelming difficulties in obtaining classes and funds have added excessive pressure to students’ daily routines. But there are solutions to help cope with these emotions.
You wake up Monday morning, glance at the clock and a red 7:36 a.m. glares at you. Angry that your phone alarm didn’t buzz you awake, you leap out of bed, grab whatever shirt and pair of jeans are on the floor, sniff them to make sure they’re decent and glide a brush through your hair.
You rush out the door, almost forgetting your books while praying to every deity you can think of, hoping you’ll make it in time for your 8 a.m. class. But when you hop into your beat up Tercel and throw your bag in the back, the engine won’t start. You try again. Yes!
When you finally find a parking spot, it’s 8:05 a.m. You’re late. After you run up a flight of stairs cursing and arrive at the end of the hallway, a sign on the door of the room says class has been cancelled.
Much ado about nothing, and yet your nerves are frazzled anyway. Besides the panic that morning, other personal, societal and economic issues make stress unavoidable.
Work hours being cut back, bills piling up and never-ending tuition increases add financial pressure that make it complicated for us to have any extra money in our pockets.
Disappearing class sections and overcrowded rooms have made going to class more difficult than it should be, while a limited number of available units make some of us wonder if we’ll be able to keep our full-time student status in order to keep our health insurance or scholarships.
Stress is inevitable, especially in these tough times. However, it is not unmanageable. A lot of us cling to unhealthy solutions to ease our stress, such as smoking or binge drinking. But there are healthier, simpler and cheaper solutions.
We all know what it’s like to want to scream at the top of our lungs to vent our frustration, and doing so isn’t such a bad thing. Almost any way to help tension is beneficial.
Listen to music or rent a movie at Redbox. Take 10 minutes to walk outside, sit down and breathe. Play a board game with friends or family or harvest your crops on Farmville. Sometimes even the simplest of things can help us forget the real world, even for just a few minutes.
The best alternative is to talk. Call a friend or relative and have a conversation about anything that could make you feel better. And if those people aren’t available, counselors at Psychology Services on campus are willing to lend an ear.