Survey reveals student lack of performance, stress causes

Erin Jackel/The News

The life of a student is never easy. Everything from assignments, to midterms, to finals and everything at home culminating into one stressful life can have its effects on students, both physically and mentally.

According to the fall 2011 National College Health Association Survey, more than 27 percent of students feel stressed to an unhealthy level. Being stressed to that level can have negative effects ranging anywhere from lack of sleep to the extremes of depression and suicide.

Leading causes of stress in students are unhealthy eating habits containing mostly fast food and greasy meals, excessive time spent doing extracurricular activities, generally poor health and financial situations.

But when finals are just around the corner, stress can seem like it has been amplified to the extreme. That’s when projects are due, papers have to be written and the grade in classes begin to hang in the balance of one last final. All these factors in the last few weeks of the semester can weigh very heavily on the mind of a student.

“College is probably the most stressful time of my life,” Gary Scourick, freshman from Paducah, Ky., said. “I’m dealing with relationships, classes and not to mention the organizations I’m involved in. I have meetings all the time.”

Another thing that can push students to the limit is the feeling of not having enough time for anything. This is something Spenser Price, freshman from Cape Girardeau, Mo., said he feels all the time.

“I never feel like I have enough time to actually do anything besides school work,” Price said. “Between the constant all night projects, the three hour classes, and multiple studio classes in one semester, I’ve never felt more stressed in my life. Plus add to that the fact that there’s never a quiet moment in the dorms. You can forget about a good sleep.”

Every one of those factors can culminate into an unhealthy and stress- filled life for a college student. It may seem like there’s not a lot to be done about the situation, but there are always solutions to the stress of college.

Some of the more common and easily manageable solutions are as simple as setting up a routine. Students have to give themselves enough time throughout the day and not overcrowd their days with activities.

Students have to make sure and set a constant time to try and sleep. Getting in the habit of sleeping at the same time can make the feeling of stress go away. Consistant sleep cycles help the body rest better.

“It is generally believed that college students should get an average of 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Good sleep, hygiene and adequate amount of sleep can go far to combat stress,” said Judy Lyle, nurse at Health Services. “Although stress and anxiety can, be the cause of lost sleep.”

Another key to relieving stress can be exercise. If a student can do 20 minutes of aerobic exercise a day, or as often as possible, it can greatly reduce the amount of stress they feel.

Overall, the key to a student relieving stress is to simply relax.

According to Balance Madison Radio, students have to realize that they can’t do everything all the time. The time spent stressing out about their homework or classes, could be better spent exercising, being with friends, or just taking part in a relaxing activity outside.