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Key Causes of Stress for Students
Stress is a natural response of the body to the challenges and problems around. This concept is old enough, and every person is free to develop different meanings and experiences to associate them with stress (Selye 14). Students, as well as other people, could experience stress because of different reasons and of different forms. Some students suffer from stress because of the inabilities to learn and memorize some new material. Dissatisfaction with grades, problems with physical or emotional health, poor sleep, and the presence of other poor habits could be the main stressors for students.
Seaward explains that stress for college students could be classified accordingly regarding roommate dynamics, professional pursuits, academic deadlines and pressure, financial aid and school loans, lifestyle behaviors, exploring sexuality, etc. (15). Some students suffer from stress that is caused by the necessity to follow full schedules and the inabilities to meet deadlines. The necessity to work and study in a hurry could confuse students or make them angry with personal powerlessness. Therefore, stressors could be found everywhere, and students have to know how to deal with them and understand their effects.
Key Effects of Stress on Students
The fact of stress is not the worst outcome that could be observed among students. Some students cannot even understand what effects of stress they should be ready for. In fact, stress is neutral by its nature and defined as the way of how students perceive events. However, it could also be negative and positive. Positive stress includes situations when students are motivated to improve their performance and achieve success (FitzMaurice 21).
Negative stress is when a person tries to do something, but no positive results are observed (FitzMaurice 22). Besides, stress could affect a student’s health and leads to some autoimmune, hormonal, or neuromuscular problems (Mensah 12). As a result, stress could promote the worsening of academic performance, increased penalties for deadlines, and the inabilities to cope with the amount of work gathered in a short period of time. Regarding such effects and outcomes of stress, students have to know how to deal with it as soon as it is identified.
Results of Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale
The Perceived Stress Scale developed by Cohen at the beginning of the 1980s is one of the most famous and frequently used tools to measure the level of psychological stress among people (Lee 121). It does not take much time to take this questionnaire and give the answers to several simple questions. Students could evaluate their past experience and investigate if their lives are unpredictable or boring.
The result I got was 14. It is defined as considered average. It means that stress is not my problem. Still, I have some reasons to start worrying about and protect my health against some cardiovascular diseases and problems. I agree with the result because I believe that students cannot live without stress all the time. Sometimes, students worry about their grades, and sometimes, students want to achieve better results. Therefore, the presence of stressful factors cannot be ignored. The way of how a person could manage stress and choose the right behavior is what actually matters.
Personal Experiences of Stress
One of the latest stressful situations I had to survive was connected with the necessity to meet the deadlines of two impressive projects almost at the same time. Due to my family problems, I had to postpone doing one of my projects for several weeks. As soon as I began to work on it, another important project had to be developed as well. I had to work on two different projects and develop various ideas. It was difficult and challenging.
I had to do my best to meet the deadlines and introduce interesting and appropriate works. As a result, the goal was achieved, and the projects were defended. Still, I was exhausted. Stress was the outcome of my hurry and thoughts about academic deadlines and performance. I was not angry or frustrated. At the moment, I found that I could not cope with all the things I had to do. I was not able to control all things and felt nervous from time to time. These were the main reasons for the stress I experienced during the last two months.
Ways to Manage Personal Stress
Stress management is a crucial practice that helps to identify the causes of stress and take the actions that help to reduce the level of stress in future and improve college experience (Austin and Lockmiller 54). There are many ways of how students could try to cope with stress and manage personal lives. Regarding my situation and the presence of stress because of the inabilities to control my time and things around, I believe that I got some kind of work stress that could be managed with the help of properly organized schedules and the established deadlines that cannot be removed.
Meditation before sleeping is another method to try to find out the required portion of harmony and focused on the goals and tasks set. Finally, I had to understand that there were a number of people around, who could help me. What I had to do was to ask for help and clarify my problems. I thought that even tutors could understand my situation and support me. Still, my desire to achieve academic perfection prevented me from asking for help and led to stress.
Austin, Don, and Blake Lockmiller. “An Examination of How Traditional and Non-Traditional Students Differ in Perceived Stress and How They Manage Stress.” Missouri Journal of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance 26 (2016): 48-55. Print.
FitzMaurice, Kevin Everett. Stress for Success, Portland: FitzMaurice Publishers, 2013. Print.
Lee, Eun-Hyun. “Review of the Psychometric Evidence of the Perceived Stress Scale.” Asian Nursing Research 6.4 (2012): 121-127. Print.
Mensah, Joseph Nii Abekar. Stress Management and Your Health, Houston: Strategic Book Publishing, 2013. Print.
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Seaward, Brian Luke. Essentials of Managing Stress, Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2013. Print.
Selye, Hans. Stress in Health and Disease, Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2012. Print.