Additional reporting by Sarah Likens
With the semester well underway, there’s already so many opportunities and responsibilities vying for students’ attentions. Athletic practices, homework assignments and formal recruitment are just a few major things that can cause a person to wonder how they will manage the stress of it all.
As students there is a balance to remembering that while we are required to take this time of our lives seriously, we are also aren’t expected to put so much pressure on ourselves that it’s difficult to function.
If you find yourself drowning in a sea of papers, obsessing over weekend activities or are just not wanting to leave your room and face the day, make sure you take a bit of time to help yourself. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America recommends getting plenty of sleep and limiting your intake of caffeine and alcohol, which can only aggravate stress more. This isn’t always the easiest feat for someone in college, where staying up until the wee hours of the morning seems like the only way to pass classes and a warm coffee or a cold beer are the only way to get through. Yet by going out of your way to take care of your body, your mind will thank you later.
ADAA encourages those to put things in perspective. A failing test grade, not getting a bid from the house that you really liked or a fight with your roommate may make it seem like the world is falling down around you. Just remember that life exists beyond Albion’s small campus radius.
According to Dr. Franklin Kelemen, director of Counseling Services at Albion College, there are different kinds of stress that can be the result of academics or social reasons. “It depends on the kind of stress you’re dealing with too.”
HelpGuide.org emphasizes engaging in stimulating your five senses when stressed. “The speediest way to stamp out stress is by engaging one or more of your senses—your sense of sight, sound, taste, smell, touch or movement—to rapidly calm and energize yourself.” Everyone responds a little differently to these senses, so it’s best to find out what works for you. By surrounding yourself in calming images, burning a scented candle or even by having a piece of dark chocolate can all aid you in times of stress.
Keleman says it’s normal to feel stressed while at college. “Stress isn’t necessarily bad, it’s a normal part of life. But if becomes something that is overwhelming, starts to make one out of sorts, it’s helpful to seek support. You can get that help from friends, all different supports on campus. Sometimes students say ‘It’s not a big enough deal…I don’t need to talk to a therapist.’ But we’re not just here to talk when someone is crisis. We’re here to talk to students at any point and help them figure things out. ”
Counseling Services is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday. After hours, there is always an on call therapist who can be reached by calling Campus Safety.