Under Pressure

Emory Elliott, Plainsmen Post Editor In Chief

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Sweat, tears, and frustration; a never ending cycle of negativity complete with constant worry, tension, and headaches. Sound familiar?

College places stress on students, it is no secret. Assignments and due dates, jobs and home life, with personal life and activities drizzled on top can evoke stress in even the most cool of cucumbers. Stress is no easy obstacle to overcome, especially when college and everything that comes with it is an ever present factor in daily life.

Managing stress sounds easier said than done. However, there are steps to overcoming it or finding a method to deal with it better. Contrary to popular belief, not all stress is bad. In fact, stress can be healthy and is needed to keep certain levels and functions in a body running normally. For example, a fire alarm sounds in the dorm room. Stress levels will rise, causing the body to realize a problem and to formulate a plan to overcome the problem. In this case, stress will cause the body to recognize that a fire alarm is signaling, and then will tell the body to escape the situation. So, while stress is usually unwelcome, it is a necessary evil.

The next step to overcoming stress is to identify what kind of stress one is experiencing. Internal stress includes, for example, placing high expectations on one to do better or to be better. External stress can include things such as a bad test grade or a falling out with a friend. Identifying the kind of stress can be helpful toward eliminating it or learning how to cope with it.

Setting goals, making a plan, and sticking to these both can improve stress levels. If frustration is present, exercise is a great way to rid oneself of that frustration. Making time for outside activities can greatly reduce stress because overloading on a single focus can be stress inducing in itself. If a personal problem is the stressor, writing down thoughts in a journal can help control stress levels, as well.

When stress is too much, thoughts can become dark. Self-harming, suicidal thoughts, and other dangers may arise. If any of these are experienced, there is hope and other answers. Check with an advisor, talk to a friend, or see a professor; find support. Having an outside source or person can greatly help relieve stress and can offer answers or insight that was unseen before.

Students at Frank Phillips College who are experiencing stress or suicidal thoughts can visit Director of Counseling and Testing Deborah Johnson. Located in the CLC, stop by CLC 22 and ask for Dr. Johnson. Students who need help dealing with different types of stress or who need help getting back on track can visit Johnson to get advice and counseling.

The pressure of college life affects everybody differently. However, dealing with these stressors does not have to be difficult. Changes can help coping mechanisms and thus can help reduce the blood, sweat, and tears that comes with school-time stress.

Find more information about stress management for college students here.

Amarillo, TX suicide hotline number: (806) 359-6699


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Under Pressure