New school year, new stress: learning to cope with life’s changes

in News/SCSU News by

With each new stage of life we enter, we experience many new things. Unfortunately, amongst that list are new kinds of stress. The first days, weeks, and sometimes even months of a student’s transition into college can be some of the most challenging and exhausting times in their life. No family to go home to at the end of the day, a completely new routine, financial stress, and much more can all contribute to students feeling overwhelmed. Finding ways to cope with stress can be more than upsetting and, at times, even seem impossible.

For many, the struggles that accompany these kinds of changes in life are inevitable. But help is always within reach as long as you know how to address it and look for assistance in the right places. Holly Schuck, Associate Director of Advising and Student Transitions at St. Cloud State, says poor time management can cause some students problems. “In high

“In high school, they’re used to their parents or their teachers telling them what to do and when to do it, but here a lot of that goes away”.

The independence most new college students look forward to having can also be their crutch as they experience this transition into a new stage in their life. John Eggers, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, believes there are three keys to managing this stress. “Have good relationships…prioritize your time, don’t feel like you need to do everything at once…and certainly exercise is important”. Applying these suggestions to a student’s life could prove to be the difference maker in the line between stress and stress-free.

“Have good relationships…prioritize your time, don’t feel like you need to do everything at once…and certainly exercise is important”. Applying these suggestions to a student’s life could prove to be the difference maker in the line between stress and stress-free.

Applying these suggestions to a student’s life could prove to be the difference maker in the line between stress and stress-free.

We’ve all heard, and probably used, the cliché “stressed out college student”, but what happens when we don’t learn to cope with it? Eggers says several aspects of our life can be compromised if the problem isn’t addressed. “Physical illness is much more likely when people are overwhelmed by stress or have too many stressors and also when people get overwhelmed they lose the efficiency, so their productivity goes down”. This is why it is important to address the problem early, to avoid it spiraling out of control and poisoning other parts of a student’s life.

“Physical illness is much more likely when people are overwhelmed by stress or have too many stressors and also when people get overwhelmed they lose the efficiency, so their productivity goes down.”

This is why it’s important to address the problem early, to avoid it spiraling out of control and poisoning other parts of a student’s life.

Sometimes trying to take control of the situation yourself isn’t enough. If that’s the case, the University has more ways to help. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) gives students a comprehensive assessment upon their first visit to discover what aspects of a student’s life need support. The student is then given a therapist with whom they can discuss those areas of their life that are lacking. If further assistance is needed, a student may be directed to Health Services to pick a medication. If a dialogue about their stress isn’t what the student is looking for then they can visit Halenbeck Hall and sign up for an exercise class or even get a pass to use the gym, as physical activity can play a major role in coping with stress. Along with these services, students can take advantage of the multitude of advisors on campus to help with their troubles on a more academic level.

Methods of coping are different for everyone and sometimes it takes a little bit of time to find the method that works best for you. The encouragement of those around you never hurt anyone either and remember to focus on the bigger picture. “It’s important to realize that life isn’t ending here, it’s a long ball game, not a short one, so keep it in perspective,” said Eggers.

“It’s important to realize that life isn’t ending here, it’s a long ball game, not a short one, so keep it in perspective,” said Eggers.

Get the help you need if you need it and keep an eye on your friends to make sure they’re doing okay as well. Transitioning into college is a challenge for many people; be the kind of person that conquers the challenges regardless of their difficulty. Be healthy, be successful, be a leader. Take the first step to a healthier college life.

 

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