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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Freaked out already?

    As the school year begins, so do stress and anxiety. While for many the summer was a time to forget school, or at least relax, the start of fall semester is the time to remember classes and get adjusted. Many people feel the pressure of the inexorable first day, but none more so than incoming freshmen.

    “”As I was unpacking everything I couldn’t lift anything because I was so fatigued,”” said undeclared freshman Bill Hazra. “”The stress started coming in, and I was wondering if it was going to be like this the whole year.””

    According to the American College Health Association, “”Stress is your physical, emotional, and mental response to change. Intense competition for grades, adjusting to living on your own, financial worries about school and future job prospects, time spent away from family and pleasurable activities, and relationship stress can all stretch the rubber band.””

    Stress is a familiar feeling all students deal with, but it is strongest and present most often when the summer ends and the fall semester begins.

    “”I hate getting adjusted. It’s always been stressful,”” said Sonya Wool, senior psychology major. As a transfer student from the University of Denver, Wool said she was feeling more like an incoming freshman than a graduating senior.

    “”I had to find a place to live here in Tucson, I had to sign up for classes, which was absolutely terrible, and I don’t know anything around the U of A. It’s been very, very stressful,”” she said.

    Feeling similarly is evolutionary biology senior Tyler Bouchard.

    “”It’s not as hard to get adjusted being a senior, but everyone hates the beginning of school, especially the fall semester,”” Bouchard said. “”The worst is the time leading up to school, and the first few weeks after. It’s different for other people I guess. How you deal with stress just depends on what works best for you. I just ignore it.””

    With students struggling to get adjusted to academic life again, stress and anxiety become legitimate health issues. Campus Health offers dozens of pamphlets and flyers for students, with suggested solutions for dealing with such health issues. Counseling and Psychological Services, also known as CAPS, is the university’s health center program that deals with stress, anxiety and depression as inhibiting problems for students. According to information found in pamphlets provided by CAPS, “”Stress is the number one health problem in our country. Learning how you respond to stress and what you can do to prevent and alleviate its negative consequences is as important as any course of study.”” CAPS provides programs such as crisis intervention, therapy, and even meditation to help students reduce stress.

    “”If we’re going to look at students, just the adjustment from home to college is hard,”” Michael Strangstalien, a mental health clinician for CAPS said. “”One of the stresses of life is that we have this imposed structure or routine that we all had in high school; once in college, all that structure and routine is gone. Suddenly, you don’t know where to plug in your cell phone because your mom had been doing it all along. Routine is what makes people successful here.

    “”The hallmark of maturity, hopefully, is that we will get better at recognizing when we have taken on too much stress,”” Strangstalienadded. “”Usually the ones more successful at college have figured that out.””

    The beginning of the year is almost always the most difficult, but as the semester goes on, and the change becomes routine, the stress will gradually subside – that is, until finals.

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