Students should learn how to manage stress

 By Jalyn Bolyard, Online Editor 
It’s easy to become stressed out during the last part of any semester. Although a part of me is longing for summer break, another part of me is not looking forward to it just yet because of how much work I have left before I get there. I’m sure I’m not the only one, too. 
In fact, it’s normal to have stressful moments. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), everyone feels stressed at some time or another. Whether it’s from finals, personal life, work life or somewhere else, everyone has their stressed-out moments. 
There’s a lot to think about at the end of the spring semester:  finals, capstone projects, heavy research work, presentations, portfolios, job hunts, internship hunts, resumes to fill out and more or even a mix of the above, not to even mention family or friend problems. Life can get pretty hectic sometimes. 
Everyone has stress and everyone responds to that stress in different ways. One person may find something stressful when another person doesn’t. One person may find something stressful when another person doesn’t. That’s alright and totally normal. So, don’t beat yourself up if you think you’re overreacting or stressed out over something that you may think is silly. Your feelings are valid. 
We’re all in this together, whether we’re all happy or all stressed out. Sometimes we can get into a bubble of feeling alone when stressed, but just remember that you’re actually not alone. Talk to a close friend or family member if you need to vent. It’s better to get it all out than to hold it all in. 
Although the end of the semester can be chaotic, remember to take some time to focus on yourself. You can’t let stress constantly eat away at you.
According to NIMH, long-term stress can actually cause health problems if it’s constant. This can include immune, digestive, and sleep problems. Students definitely don’t need health problems on top of everything else. 
So, take some time for you. Whether it’s playing video games, reading, watching YouTube videos, hanging out with friends or even simply taking a nap – remember to put yourself first at times. If you’ve been studying for five hours straight, take a break!
Some college students seem to not know what the word “break” means, but I promise you, it won’t hurt. In fact, it can help you destress and therefore help your physical and mental health. 
According to ULifeline, it’s important to be proactive in combating stress. Make sure you get a good amount of sleep, a healthy diet, and exercise; this can help minimize stress’s negative side effects. Even trying a deep breathing technique can be beneficial. Find something that works for you and stick with it. 
West Liberty also has free counseling for any student. Email Lisa Witzberger at [email protected] to set up an appointment. Students can also find more resources here
Photo credit: Jalyn Bolyard