• Stress

    Stress is a common concern among college students. In fact, in a recent study of UK students, 41 percent of students reported much or very much stress. Since stress is so common, it is important to understand what it is, what causes it and how to manage it.

    What is stress?

    Stress is any physical, mental or emotional adjustment of one’s well-being caused by an external stimulus known as a stressor. Stress is the body’s physiological reaction to these stressors.

    There are two main types of stress: acute stress and chronic stress. Acute stress is the most common type of stress and is generally short term. Acute stress can sometimes be good, such as the stress you might feel before a test that causes you to study or before doing something adventurous that causes you to assess the risks. Too much short-term stress, though, can lead to physical and emotional symptoms, such as headaches, upset stomach, or irritability. Since it’s usually a new feeling, people are generally very aware when they experience acute stress; they feel different than they did before the stress. Since acute stress is short-term, it usually doesn’t cause the same damage that long-term stress.

    Chronic stress is long-term stress and can have serious health implications. Chronic stress can be caused by long-term problems, for instance being stuck in a miserable situation, such as a major you might not like or a job you dislike. One of the problems with chronic stress is that since it’s always there, people get used to it (although that doesn’t mean it has gone away). Chronic stress can lead to heart attack, stroke, suicide or even cancer. It wears people down physically and mentally.

    The good news is that both types of stress can be managed and treated.

    To deal with your stress or just have someone to talk to, contact the Counseling Center to help.

  • Signs of stress

    Everyone exhibits stress differently. If you’re feeling stressed, you might experience:

    • Worry
    • Anger
    • Irritability
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Headaches
    • Muscles aches
    • Stomach aches, nausea or frequent diarrhea
    • Trouble sleeping
    • Frequent or serious colds

    If you are feeling stressed for any reason, it is important that you learn how to manage it so it doesn’t cause health or other problems.

  • Causes

    There are many different causes of stress, and the causes will vary by person and situation. What might be stressful to one person might be easily brushed off by another person. Other causes of stress for college students include:

    • Tests and papers
    • Relationships (friends, family, romantic partners)
    • Jobs
    • Graduation
    • Adjusting to college life
    • Being away from home for the first time
    • Searching for a job after graduation
    • Financial worries
    • Student organizations
    • Roommates

    There are many other things that could cause stress for college students.