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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Column: Stress is common so take care of yourself

    As summer draws to a close, the days of free schedules and unstructured sleep patterns have been exchanged for ones of early-morning classes and late nights in the library.

    For some, the anticipation of reuniting with old friends and extracurricular activities counteracts these new changes. For others, the transitional stress of adapting to new routines may be overwhelming.

    It is safe to say that stress is a normal part of life. Everyone stresses. Without stress, there would be no motivation to fulfill daily tasks and commitments.

    However, it is essential to recognize these feelings as they come up and to address them accordingly. Even more importantly, action should be taken if one feels that stress has begun to affect their daily routines and overall well-being.

    Unfortunately, our culture has built inaccurate stereotypes around stress and its effects.

    In the eyes of many, stress is something that can be easily controlled. People with this opinion often believe that stress is like a light switch: One can choose to be stressed out or not.

    Furthermore, stress is often seen as an indicator of being a dedicated student. Those who take no time for themselves and make their lives all about studying and performing are rewarded by the college system. The more stress, the better academic performance, right?

    False. To clarify, a degree of stress is healthy and allows people to continue to fulfill daily tasks.

    On the contrary, too much stress can prevent a person from reaching their full potential, both academically and mentally. Because of a growing number of ignorant stereotypes, students feel not only that stress is their fault, but that it would be a deficiency in character to seek help from outside sources.

    The only solution to managing stress, however, is self action. It is the responsibility of the student to realize the circumstances of their situation and to then seek help.

    The UA has a plethora of resources available to students who may be feeling overwhelmed and anxious with school. Organizations like Campus Health Services, Student Assistance and Active Minds, among others, are available to ensure that each person has the tools to reach their full potential and ultimately enjoy the overall college experience.

    A mixture of both routine adjustments and utilizing campus resources can be key in minimizing school stress.

    According to Marian Binder, director of Counseling and Psych Services at Campus Health, the benefits of physical exercise are almost equivalent to that of a counseling session. Physical exercise stimulates various brain chemicals that create a happier, more relaxed mood.

    A nutritious diet and proper sleep patterns help to not only maintain a healthy body, but also to reduce stress and clear the mind.

    Lastly, it is important to make time for yourself. The college experience consists of far more than simply academics. Don’t feel bad about setting aside a sliver of time to meet up with friends, to read a good book or to watch an episode of your favorite show on Netflix. You deserve it.

    If you feel alone, rest assured that you are not. According to data from CAPS, over 100 students new to the CAPS system were seen during the first week of the semester. Chances are, if you feel stressed and anxious, someone close to you does as well.

    As my mother has always told me, “Control the controllables, and forget about the rest.” You have control over how you wish to feel. If you feel that minor routine adjustments are not enough to get you to the place you want to be, do not be afraid to take advantage of outlets that are willing to assist you. In doing so, you can guarantee another happy and productive year at the UA.

    —Emilee Hoopes is a molecular and cellular biology sophomore. Follow her @h00pesthereitis

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