The Causes of Stress for College Students
Stress is basically defined as an applied force or system of forces that tends to strain or deform a body. It is usually caused by something that is out of the ordinary from everyday life, things like tests, family problems and loss of job. Today students have a lot of stress because of a lot of different reasons. There are many things that cause stress for college students; school-related issues, relationships, and peer pressure.
One of the main causes of stress is adapting to the new life which we have suddenly landed in. For me it is the first time that I have lived outside the nurturing and protective security of the family unit. My parents used to provide for me materially and used to set down boundaries on how to live. This no longer applies in college and one of the first tasks that I should undertake is to find an identity and effectively test the rules that were set out by my parents. The uncertainty and lack of identity is a common cause of stress for me.
School-related issues also cause stress for students these days. It can be caused by them doing so badly in college that they gave up all hope of doing something worthwhile with their lives, or it could be caused by just not living up to their own standards. Stress also creates the way people deal with things like smoking and drinking, which are worse ways of dealing with stress. I think that these are some of the most common ways to deal with it. For example, one of my friends likes to go out and drink when he feels stressed about doing badly on a test or paper.
Another cause of college stress is relationships. Relationship stress can be caused by not living up to their partner's expectation or just plainly by breaking up with someone that they really did care for. Also, it can be caused by an individual liking someone a lot and the finding that feeling is not mutual. All of these aspects can cause students to feel like they are in way over their heads. Most students use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to relieve stress. That's why for some college students stress makes them sick and their immune system gets run down.
Moreover, the cause of the stress is peer pressure. Peer pressure is when "friends" persuade you to doing something that you do not want to do. But maybe you want to do it, and you just don't have the courage to do it and your friends talk you into it. Peer Pressure can be broken down into two areas; good peer pressure and bad peer pressure. Bad peer pressure is being coerced into doing something that you didn't want to do because your friends said that you should. Friends have a tendency to think that they know what is best for you, and if your friends are like some of ours, they always offer their opinion whether it is wanted or not. Many students are vulnerable to bad peer-pressure because they are afraid of being rejected, losing friends, being teased and they don't know how to say "NO". Some students don't think about the consequences and they can't explain why they are not interested that's why peer-pressure can cause stress.
In my opinion, to overcome stress we need to balance academic demands and the social demands of college. Socializing and being surrounded by positive people is an important aspect of overcoming stress. It helps to have real supportive people that you like a lot in your life who want you to succeed, especially during finals. There are several strategies that will help us to cope with stressful situations. First, we have to learn to manage our time wisely. Second, we have to set priorities and make the most of our opportunities as a student. Last, we have to learn to say "NO".
After all, college students have a lot of stress. There's no denying it, but college is what we make of it. If we stay focused and balance our life, we'll feel much more relaxed and healthier when it's time to wear our cap and gown. Now, that's an achievement we have earned for life!
Effects of Stress on Your Health
When you are in a stressful situation, your body launches a physical response. Your nervous system springs into action, releasing hormones that prepare you to either fight or take off. It's called the "fight or flight" response, and it's why, when you're in a stressful situation, you may notice that your heartbeat speeds up, your breathing gets faster, your muscles tense, and you start to sweat. This kind of stress is short-term and temporary (acute stress), and your body usually recovers quickly from it.
But if your stress system stays activated over a long period of time (chronic stress), it can lead to more serious health problems. The constant rush of stress hormones can put a lot of wear and tear on your body, causing it to age more quickly and making it more prone to illness.
If you've been stressed out for a short period of time, you may start to notice some of these physical signs:
When stress becomes long-term and is not properly addressed, it can lead to a number of more serious health conditions, including:
Managing your stress can make a real difference to your health. One study showed that women with heart disease lived longer if they underwent a stress management program.