Study reveals college students most stressed
Published: Monday, February 25, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 25, 2013 17:02
Results in the national Stress in America survey, an annual analysis by Harris Interactive for the American Psychological Association were released Feb.7, showing the generation that feels the most stress are young adults.
The survey involved more than 2,020 American adults, ages 18 and older that answered an online survey in August.
Stress is the body’s response to any pressure caused by worry or too much work. The pressure can be harmful affecting physical health with an increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, diabetes, bad cholesterol, muscular tension, sweating, irritability, anxiety and depression.
Patricia Glascock, associate director of the ASU Counseling Center said, “I am not surprised the most stressed generation is young adults. The transition to college is a major life change and any life change is stressful. The degree to which young adults have learned coping skills directly relates to their stress management.”
Glascock also believes day-to-day situations are one of the leading causes of stress. “I think economic times are uncertain and other world factors increase stress,” she said. “Possibly having high expectations for material things can also increase stress. The most common sources of stress for college students are finances, the lack of money, academic demands and relationships.”
The Counseling Center offers some free stress sessions such as relaxation and biofeedback, a workshop on how to defeat stress and HealthRHYTHMS because of the National Collegiate Health Association survey. The survey has shown that for the last 10 years stress has been the No. 1 obstacle to academic success for college students. The majority of students go to the Counseling Center because of stress related issues such as depression and anxiety, which derive from stress. The Counseling Center is working on establishing stress management groups.
Stress response is a physical response for heart rate increases, palm sweat, shallow breathing and muscle tension. Biofeedback is a way of monitoring the body’s response to stress and with practice teaching and managing one’s stress response.
Yufei Li, freshman biology major of China said, “I am not stressed, but having three exams in a week is a bit too much.”
When a student is in a test situation he or she might experience some tension but if there is too much tension then the stress response can keep them from remembering what they studied. This is most often called test anxiety. A person can learn to relax, breathe and control stress response, and thus perform better in school.
HealthRHYTHMS uses a number of breathing exercises along with rhythm to de-stress. It is more of a social interaction than just doing the breathing exercises.
There are a variety of things students encounter that lead to stress. “Multitasking stresses me out the most because I like to do one thing at a time,” said Michel Beaird, junior mechanical engineering major of Monette. “I cope with stress by taking it easy, relaxing, sitting down, not doing anything, playing video games, and sometimes going to the gym.”
Time management is a great way to lower stress. “Step one, have a daily planner. Step two, eliminate time wasters. Step three, set daily, weekly, short-term and long-term goals,” Glascock said. “Each day consider priorities towards those goals and give time for reaching those goals.”