McMurran Hall

Stress and Anxiety Affect Students

Stress is something that everyone experiences in one way or another, especially college students.

“Managing my time correctly and fulfilling all my obligations, including getting good grades,” said Tyler Hulton, senior history major. ”That’s what really stresses me out.”

Hulton was not the only one whose primary stressors include school work. Andrew Potts, a sophomore business administration major, and Mark Chaney, a junior historic preservation major, both said that schoolwork, classes and grades are among the main things that were stressing them out.

“A particular class I have right now that has been a total waste of my money, time and energy,” is one of the things that Chaney said stressed him.

School is not the only stressor in many students’ lives. “I’m just juggling a lot of things; being a full time student, working 40 hour weeks, my band Years End and more,” said Sam Freeman, a sophomore visual communications major.

“Honestly, the patchy Wi-Fi and trying to turn in assignments with it is what puts me under a lot of stress. Sometimes it works great in the lobby or study lounge and other times it’s completely gone,” said sophomore civil war history major Taylor Coleman.

Whatever the reason may be, Shepherd students struggling with stress should know that they are not alone.

“During the 2013 – 2014 academic year, 38 students came in for counseling specifically stating stress as their primary concern,” Shepherd University councilor Shanan Spencer said. “However, most students involved in counseling are also dealing with stress-related issues.”

Spencer went on to say that some of the major stressors affecting Shepherd students are academics, relationships, family concerns, financial struggles and the struggle to find their places socially.

Spencer offered several ways in which students can try to deal with their stress and help each other out. “If someone has a friend who needs help, the best thing is to be supportive. Encourage the student to talk with someone. Encourage the student to engage in some good self-care routines, i.e. eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising. Counseling Services provides a great stress management podcast on Sakai under the site Wellness,” she said.

While Spencer offered exercise as a healthy way to deal with stress, a report from USA Today’s Sharon Jayson offered statistics that suggest that it is not the method that most American adults use. The report stated that 37 percent of U.S. adults are exercising less than once a week or not at all due to stress. While 43 percent exercise or walk and nine percent play sports to manage stress, the report also says 62 percent manage stress with screen time: 42 percent go online; 42 percent watch two or more hours of TV or movies a day; 21 percent play video games.

“Improving stress management abilities can only help students perform better in all aspects of their lives,” said Spencer. “If students are starting to feel overwhelmed, it’s a good time to see help.”

Counseling services are free to our students. To schedule an appointment, students can call the campus health center at 304-876-5161.

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