Op-Ed: College Has Me Stressed Out

11*Editor’s Note this was updated on Feb 11 with The Counseling Centers response

College has me more scatter-brained than I have ever been in my life. I can work on my assignments diligently, even believing I’m getting ahead in my work, only to come to the crushing realization that I forgot a deadline altogether. In fact, that’s exactly what happened with this piece.

Although I’m only in my second year at Xavier, it feels as if I’ve been here forever. I’ve made friends that became detrimental and I’ve made friends that simply bring out the best in me. Each situation has made me more creative, mature, cautious, and driven. And in this creativity, what stands in the way is Xavier.

Anyone who knows me knows that no matter what the situation is, no matter how vibrant the colors, or how caring the people are, I will find something to complain about. Perhaps I just am that much of a pessimist. I have a decent course load- 15 credits- and they’re all courses that are interesting (most of the time) and align with my future goals. I am right where I need to be. At the same time, I feel absolutely distracted by the daily quizzes, outlining, extensive readings, and applications for scholarships that I feel I’m losing something extremely important: myself.

Last semester, I sat in an Uber with a friend talking about this semester where they would take a gap semester at the Disney College Program where I would stay on Xavier’s parking lot of a campus. For me, it really would be a small world after all. At this point, my few friends were either leaving, left, or became estranged and I was just appreciating this last outing. And then she said “You know you’ve only talked about school this whole time?”

By no means am I not grateful for my education, but I’m realizing that it’s taking away from me. By the time I’m done with work, all I have the energy to do is lay on my back and watch some poorly made Netflix original. I have no time to write for my own pleasure or read for my own pleasure. My whole existence has become my school work. My conclusion is that, for me, Xavier is a great place to define what it is I want in life, but at the cost of my personality.

** We reached out to the counseling center to get a response on some tips on how to alleviate stress as well as mental well-being this is their response below**

Finding Ways to Deal with Your Stress

By: XULA Counseling & Wellness Center

Being a student is not only stressful but being a high achiever adds other known stresses throughout the year. Students who strive to be high achievers will experience stress because it is part of the academic world. According to Andrea Leyden, stress exists for a reason and you can choose to let it be your downfall or use it to drive you to improve your overall work.

To reduce stress from exams/quizzes or assignments, first you have to understand the reasons behind this heightened anxiety. Then you can establish methods to reduce the pressures you feel by looking at the following: low motivation levels, high expectation from others and competition from peers.

Stress, especially during exams/quizzes will not go away because it is the determining factor you will need to push you through getting through your finals and passing to the next course level and year. To overcome the stress you need to reflect and plan throughout the entire semester to ensure you are able to stay focused and on the best path to succeed not only in academic but in your personal endeavors.

10 Healthy Ways to Beat Stress:

  • Listen to music
  • Take a quick walk
  • Plan your study routine
  • Put exercise in your life
  • Try to get enough sleep
  • Use mobile apps
  • Give your mind space
  • Plan and eat balanced ,meals and snacks
  • Let it all out
  • Break free from distractions

Adapted from: Leyden, Andrea. How to Beat Exam Stress in 10 Easy Ways. (2015). https://www.goconqr.com

Remember stress is a part of our daily life. You want the stress that will help you maintain balance in your life and where you will be able to obtain your academic goals.

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