Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Guest Post (Exclusive) - by an established Feature Writer..:

Students and Stress – Tips to Overcome Problems

Tragedy can hit any one of us; troubles don’t discriminate when they choose to appear on our horizons; and depression is a worldwide phenomenon. So you know what I mean when I say that college students are also prone to personal (or other) problems and that these four years are not just fun and games as most people would have you believe. It’s hard enough to deal with trouble when you don’t have any major responsibilities; what’s harder though, is to tackle stress, depression or sadness when there are exams around the corner, assignments with deadlines looming, and papers to be completed in a short time.

You’re not really mature when you enter college as a freshman, and though you may gain some wisdom over the four years you spend on campus, it takes a really strong person to overcome personal difficulties and focus their attention on their lessons. And that is why we hear of dropouts, suicides, and other behavioral problems that seem to affect college students with alarming regularity. There’s a lot at stake if you’re unable to cope with the stress that comes with troubles and difficulties – you don’t get to complete your degree and your dreams of the career you’ve always wanted go up in smoke. If you’re beset by problems that seem insurmountable, here are a few tips to help you cope:

Talk to someone: If you’re too wound up, if you’re breaking your head over an unsolvable problem, it always helps to talk it out. Choose as your confidante someone close to you, someone who will understand, someone who will support, someone who will not judge. A solution may or may not arise out of the conversation, but even if one doesn’t, at least you know you don’t have to go it alone. Loneliness and depression are the main causes of most dropouts and suicides on campus.

Throw yourself into some activity you love: If you’re brooding over a love affair gone sour or your parents’ divorce (problems that you have no control over), you must learn to forget your sorrow. And the best way to do this is to drown yourself, not in drink, but in some worthwhile activity that soothes your troubled mind and calms your frayed nerves. Sport is an excellent mood elevator; it boosts your adrenaline and gives you that feel-good factor. Grab a racquet and hit the tennis courts, put on your jogging shoes and see the sun rise as you run through campus, or join your football team for a few work-outs. You’ll feel sweaty and tired, but you’re going to be more at peace with yourself.

Take stock of your situation: If you’re in this mess because of your own mismanagement, then you must see how you can put things right. If you’re lagging behind in your lessons and assignments, if you’ve been partying one too many nights, or if you’ve incurred debt that’s hard to repay, you must begin to make amends, immediately. In for a penny, in for a pound – is not the mantra to follow here; rather, you must cut your losses and do the best you can to remedy the situation. Concentrate on getting your grades up; stay up nights to catch up on assignments; and work another job to chisel away that debt you owe. Remedial activity by itself has a cathartic effect, and you’re bound to end up feeling good about yourself.

Stick to a schedule: Finally, no matter what happens, no matter how upset or disturbed you are, don’t turn to alcohol, drugs or any other addictive substance. You’re only making things worse. Instead, stick to a sensible routine of healthy food, regular exercise, working at lessons, and sleeping at least 6 hours each night. A routine helps you return normalcy with its sheer mundane nature. Besides, you need to make sure your health is not affected because of your mental worries.

Remember, you must focus on the reason you’re in college – to earn a degree that will open the doors of opportunity once you leave campus. So to stay on track, learn to deal with stress effectively.
This post was contributed by Holly McCarthy, who writes on the subject of the online teaching opportunities. She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12 at gmail dot com

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