How stress can affect student performance

By Emily Unnone, contributing writer

Demanding credit hours, work, and maintaining relationships can all add up to a stressful semester for a student. According to TIME magazine, college students are more stressed out than ever before. Students have a unique level of stress, due to the culture that they are living in.

According to the article published by TIME, students today are feeling more pressure from the beginning of college to be successful. Students tend to compare themselves to other students, whether it is on social media, test scores or who got an offer on a better internship. The amount of work required for different classes may also be stress inducing. Occasionally due dates are around the same time and it can get very difficult to manage all of those exams at the same time.

“Right now we are only two weeks into the semester and I am having trouble just trying to find tutors,” WLU Senior Jessica Broverman said. “It’s difficult enough trying to study for a test, learn the information in class, take quizzes and homework assignments, and still find time to relax. It’s exhausting.”

“It can be hard for me to do everything I want to sometimes,” said WLU Junior Raquel Cabero. “Playing tennis and having 18 hours in one semester can be tough. I just try to make time for everything. Sometimes I have to chose.”

Stress has now been a factor in how students will perform their daily activities, such as sports, relationships, work, and classes. According to the American Psychological Association 39 percent of adults ages 18 to 33 report that their stress has increased in the last year. While some may argue that academic stress prepares you for the ‘real world’, it can be problematic for health related concerns

According to Healthline, if stress continues without relief, it can lead to a condition called distress – a negative stress reaction. Distress includes symptoms such as headaches, depression and problems sleeping. Stress associated with school does have the ability to be maintained though.

West Liberty Junior Pablo Cimorra explains how he handles stress. “I go to the gym or play soccer with friends on the weekends. Anything that will get me out of my dorm room,” said Cimorra.

Some of the most common tips, collected from trusted sights such as TIME, Huffington Post and Healthline provided some helpful advice. Avoid over-committing and practice relaxation techniques. Positive thinking and getting on a good sleep schedule are needed as well. Exercise and learning time management can also make a huge difference in your level of stress.

Don’t let the semester get you down. Remember that there are plenty of ways to tackle stress. Go join WLU’s ultimate Frisbee team, do some yoga, and you can even speak to someone on campus such as Lisa Witzberger, WLU’s counselor on campus. For more information on how to reduce your stress on campus, please click here for more activities.

Cartoon by Mimi Albon