Advice from Your Editor

By Emma Buchman
Opinion Editor

Stress always appears to be a far-off issue for everyone, until it strikes without any warning. For any college student, this time of the year can be critical for developing the right rhythm and preventing stress throughout the semester. If a student gets settled in the right pattern, no amount of homework and club activities can take them down. But find the wrong pattern, and we’ve got a panic on our hands for the entire semester.

Before you turn yourself away from this article completely, I hope to share some worthwhile advice that you have never heard before. So many people preach about stress management to us, and we tend to overlook it because we think we know everything. Because of this, we belittle stress and minimize its importance in our lives, making it a distant problem. As with any other central parts of our lives, ignoring stress will only cause greater problems in the future.

Stress is not kind. It will not knock on your door and say, “Hey, I’m going to screw up your week today.  Would you like it with tears or without?”  There is no way to avoid all forms of stress but the longer you put off dealing with it, the worse it will be when it finally catches up with you.  Admitting your stress will make you a stronger person in the long-run, and dealing with it in the short-term will make you a much more pleasant person to be around.

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For me, stress is a daily problem.  With so many things going on, it can be difficult to organize them and accomplish them with some semblance of quality.  Therefore, I always take advantage of the time that I have to myself and the opportunities to unwind.  For instance, when I feel overwhelmed from studying or working on a project, I always take a break.  This is recommended for more reasons than pure stress relief, it helps you to better absorb the information you are taking in and ultimately makes you a better learner.  Part of this is because when you actually do study, you will be focusing on the material and not on how much you have because you have so many other things to do and oh my God I hate my professor for making me do this, and IF THAT ALARM GOES OFF ONE MORE TIME. You get the point.

I also make sure that I express any feelings that I have towards someone in a positive way, i.e. through discussion and not screaming.  When things become too overwhelming, I mentally and physically organize what I need to do and how it should be done to the best of my abilities. By talk ing things out and organzing even both your phsyical space and your mental space, you are preventing clutter from building up and distracting you from the more important goals.  Additionally, it makes you feel more at ease and better prepared to face your current challenges and anticipate the ones that lie ahead.

Basically, handling stress is about making sure that you are content.  Being content means more than happiness. It also indicates a welcomed acceptance of your life as it stands as well as the potential to make it even better. If things seem hopeless and you feel like life will cannot be made into what you wish it to be, odds are stress is winning the battle.



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