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Stress In College

Everybody experiences stress in their lives. There are many stressors in college that start with college work. College is a big source of stress for a variety of reasons, and poor planning often leads to crisis situations. The stress of every day life in college shows itself in different ways: the expectations of making an A in every course, the fear of doing poorly on tests, and worrying about failing. However, as stress becomes more serious, we often begin to develop troublesome symptoms which we worry about.

We are under stress if we have one or several of the many symptoms caused by stress, including: backaches, stomachaches, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, depression, anger, anxiety, forgetfulness or the inability to make decisions. We often feel that we are under stress — and many times we are. The most frequent cause of stress in college is the concern about academic performance and everything that goes with it, for example such as grades and exams. Some students strive for perfection in their academic performance. A boy working very hard late at night and skipping meals to study.

The yield of this consists of constant headaches and backaches, and getting really depressed because the student could never reach their goals of perfection. Dr. Hans Selye describes stress as a side effect produced by any situation to which you respond in any way. It is the nonspecific response of the body to any demand made upon it. The demand may be pleasant or unpleasant, or damaging. The damaging type of stress is called distress. Within our body, when the arterial pressure falls, the pressure usually also falls in most of the blood storage areas such as veins, liver and the lungs.

Consequently, a rise in arterial pressure is directly proportional to a rise in those same storage areas. This phenomenon is called “Stress-Relaxation”. In other areas, such as in the smooth muscle, stress relaxations has the ability to change in length without marked changes in tension. It is amazing that almost any type of stress, whether it be physical or neurogenic, will increase the ACTH secretion by the interior pituitary gland and also with in minutes greatly increase secretions of cortisol. Some different types of stress that increase cortisol release are the following:

1. Trauma of almost any type 2. Infection 3. Intense or cold 4. Injection of norepinephrine and other symptomatic drugs 5. Surgical operations 6. Injection of necrotizing substances beneath the skin The effect physiological stress on ACTH secretion in any type of ACTH and consequently of cortisol as well, often can increase cortisol secretion up to 20 fold. It is believed that pain stimuli caused by the stress, are first transmitted upward through the brain stem to the perifornical area of the hypothalamus.

In this sequence, eventually to the medial basal eminence where CRF is secreted into the hypophysial portal system. Within minutes the entire control sequence leads to large quantities of the glucocorticoid in the blood. Mental stress can also cause an almost instantaneous increase in ACTH secretion. This is believed to result from increased activity in the limbic system, especially in the region of the amygdala and hypocampus, both of these then transmitting signals to the posterior medial hypothalamus. There are many factors which trigger stress.

Planned and unplanned change can cause good and bad energy. The appropriate goal when the forces of unplanned change begin to appear is to minimize any negative consequences and maximize any possible benefits. There are actually two levels of stressed, one is Constructive and the other is Destructive stress. Moderate levels of stress can be very constructive as it can cause one to perform at their peak trying harder then expected to achieve a goal. Destructive stress or distress is dysfunctional for an individual and can cause illness, accidents, reduced performance and so on.

This causing the person to miss days from work or not do as well in their school work as they expected. The pressures of college can cause one to become overwhelmingly stress especially if they work fifteen hour days and come home at night to work another four hours on college work. It is not very easy but with determination and positive thinking the stress can become constructive. Stress can also be defined as the way in which your mind and body react to any situation that is new, threatening, or exciting.

Often, backaches, loss of appetite, constant fatigue, depression, and serious physical problems can result from prolonged stress. However, stress can also give you an extra burst of energy–more adrenaline enters the bloodstream, heart and breathing rates increase, blood flow quickens, and muscle strength improves. Learning to harness this energy can help you to meet physical challenges, solve problems and reach goals. Our life cannot be totally stress free, and we probably would not want it to be.

However, because un managed stress can lead to serious physical and emotional problems, we do need to cope with the stress we have on hand, manage it, and reduce it. In order to cope with stress we should be aware of its symptoms and accept that we are under stress, then find the source of the stress. If we treat our body appropriately, we can reduce the effects of stress in our body. It is important to take good care of ourselves by eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising. Also taking time to relax and to have fun are always good ideas to reduce stress.

Sometimes we think we can deal with stress in college in ways we really can’t, but sometimes these actions may actually increase stress. We may try to mask our stress with realization that it isn’t so bad or that we don’t need help; by denying that we are under stress, by acting out violent, aggressive behavior, or by turning to drugs, alcohol or tobacco. These actions do not reduce our stress levels, but they increase it. Negative thinking, worrying about stressful situations, overgeneralizing, and jumping into conclusions are also actions that increase stress.

In adjusting to the stressful situations and the independent lifestyle of a college student, keep in mind three important concepts — consequences, change, and cooperation. Every decision you make will have certain consequences. Just remember that even though the decisions one makes will be up to them, the results aren’t always as easily controlled. Whenever one finds themselves facing a decision, think it through. Carefully consider the options and the consequences before one moves forward, and ones new independence should be manageable.

It is important to remember the key fact that things change. If one is unhappy at first with their life as a college student, don’t give up. With each passing day, some of the hard new edges of the unfamiliar collegiate life will begin to smooth out. Many changes are under the control of the individual and the ability to adapt to change provides a great opportunity to cope with factors causing too much stress. Taking advantage of the cooperation and resources that can be found on campus is also another factor in controlling stress.

Some of the most influential people one will meet are those who have selected college teaching, counseling, or advising as their career. Although one may feel isolated sometimes, one does not have to feel alone. All around them are people whose assistance can help make one’s collegiate experience less stressful. There are several strategies that can help one cope with stressful situations: – Learn to manage time. Make and follow a daily to do-list schedule that includes time for classes, reading and writing assignments, exam preparation, meals, exercise, and a job. – Set priorities and make the most of opportunities as a student.

Write down the most important items and concentrate on those at the top of the list. Writing ideas down helps crystallize thinking and reinforce important goals. Learn to say “no” to some of the demands that infringe upon unprotected time. Protect one’s own interests by refusing to allow oneself to become over stressed by taking on every request or opportunity that comes one’s way. College is a big source of stress for a variety of reasons. Therefore, in a student’s sometimes hectic world, poor planning often leads to crisis situations, and crisis almost always leads to stress.

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