Stressed for success

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For college students, stress is part of everyday life.

Stress can be helpful in getting students through the day, as well as being a physical response to improve reactions in a fight-or-flight situation. What about when the stress becomes too much due to constant worry about midterms, GPA and social pressures?

Usatodayeducate.com referenced The New York Times stating that, “The latest study by leading grade-inflation researchers Stuart Rojstaczer and Christopher Healy confirms that an ‘A’ is now the most common mark earned by undergraduate students. Meanwhile, the ‘C’ grade is decreasing and ‘D’ and ‘F’ are almost out of the grading equation altogether.”

The undergraduate admissions process is the first of many situations that cause anxiety for future college students. Now more than ever it is imperative for prospective college students to have a stellar GPA in order to make it through the tough admissions process. Many California schools deal with budget cuts, making it more and more difficult to be accepted to even the least restrictive schools.

This type of stress can take its toll on students. About. com notes that the impact of stress on college students can be anything from weight issues to sleeping problems and, in some cases, causes students to drop out. Students may be more susceptible to peer pressure and give into binge drinking or abusing prescription medications like Adderall to take the edge off or help them study for longer lengths of time.

The current economic crisis is also contributing to students’ tendency to feel stressed. With a tough job market after graduation, students are having to gain internships and participate in extracurricular activities in order to have a diversified resume, land a job and begin paying off their college debts.

California Baptist University students are not protected from the reality of stress. The vast majority of students on campus are involved in a sport, choir or club on top of an internship and standard academic workload.

This heavy involvement and stress does not end after graduation, as many students are now worried about graduate school’s potential stressors as well.

Alumna Bonnie Markowitz was worried about getting accepted into graduate programs for the highly competitive nursing program after graduating from CBU. Excellent grades and many hours of volunteer service at several hospitals were not enough for acceptance. The reality of not getting into a graduate school can compound stress levels for college students.

So what exactly can students do to cope with the stresses of their busy schedules?

Stacie Brice wrote an article for powertochange.com on 10 ways to manage stress in college. Many of her suggestions are legitimate ways that students can use to immediately create a less stressful college experience. Many tips start by looking inward first to manage stress, instead of trying to manage everything else. This is a perspective that college students may not have not thought of before.

CBU students have some of their own coping mechanisms for dealing with stress.

“Eating a strip of bacon just melts the stress away,” Keelin Jacobsen, freshman, said.

Clearly, Jacobsen uses humor to deal with stress, the benefit of a good laugh to relieve stress is scientifically proven, according to mayoclinic.com. Some of the benefits include soothing muscle tension and lightening the mental load.

This is exactly where freshman Armida Murrieta was headed with her advice on dealing with stress.

“Take a deep breath and just take everything step by step. What you can’t finish today you can finish tomorrow. Don’t procrastinate!” Murrieta said.

Stressing for success can lead to different types of situations, CBU students should keep in mind that there is always a solution. So if relieving stress means eating bacon strips, taking a moment to breathe or preventing procrastination, college students don’t need to stay stressed for success.

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