Stress Control For College Students

A POSITIVE LIFE Publication by Dr. James F. Hubbard


Stress Control For College Students




by Dr. James F. Hubbard, Associate Professor of Psychology (Ret) University of North Carolina,Pembroke, N.C. 28372

Difficult Courses - Students will find that the difficulty level varies with different subjects they are taking. Courses in math and science are often difficult to understand. Some other courses are a strain on the mind. Students realize they are not taking it in. This triggers worry and a giving up feeling.

Heavy Work Loads - Some courses require much more work than others. Studying the text is only part of the work. The writing of term papers is required. Considerable outside reading is necessary. The student becomes involved spending so much time that there is no variety in college life.

Dealing With Unpleasant Professor Personalities is a common experience in College. Fortunately along with this encounter there will be pleasant and enjoyable ones to experience.

Lectures and Notes - Understanding the material in a lecture is not always easy. What notes to take is frequently puzzling. This leaves the student in a dilemma Worry mounts.

Taking Tests is always a stressful encounter. Not knowing the answers triggers stress, guessing is necessary. As questions and choices continue the student may well bog down and find himself in a deep hole so to speak.

Bad Grades are probably the most stressful experience one can have. It is signaling failure and makes the student very uneasy.

Problems In Boy-Girl Relationships - These do not always run smoothly. There are ups and downs and ins and outs. Problems do arise. When the negative feelings arise in any of these areas, the Stress Reaction is turned on.

To get an understanding of how STRESS operates
read the booklet Stress Basics.
You can keep your stress level down with regular exercise and proper diet.
There are ways to reduce the incoming stress listed below.

Reducing College Stress

1. The Balanced Course Load

Courses can be classified into these levels for most students: difficult, moderate, easy. This is related to nature of the course whether interesting or boring, the amount of work required, and the personality of the professor whether he is demanding, understanding, or easy.

Your High School experiences will guide you as to which types you can handle better. You can get help from your faculty advisor. Your goal is a balanced course load - one difficult one, one easy one, and three moderate ones. Get feedback from students who have had this course about research papers and outside reading. They can tell you about the personality of the professor also. You do not want to overload yourself with work.

2. The Balanced Activity Schedule

Fun and work should be equalized as much as possible. You can't study but so long. You must be relaxed and not pushing for the information to be recorded. Social activity can run on indefinitely not leaving enough time for study. Cramming before a test is not good practice. The information will not stick. Balance your study activity and your fun. Study a while, talk a while, and snack a while. Keep yourself relaxed to promote good retention and good thinking.

3. Increase Your Word Power

One of the basic barriers to understanding is insufficient vocabulary. Look up unfamiliar words in your textbooks for you will use them again and again. If you hear an unfamiliar word in a lecture, ask a fellow student for its meaning. Increasing your word power pays real dividends.

4. Understanding Bad Grades

Go over your tests with a friend and sometimes with the professor to learn the correct answers. On discussion type questions learn what was expected, find out what you left out. It is always a good practice to compare your notes with another student who did better on the test than you did. Cooperate and graduate. When taking a test you will run into questions you don't know. This may trigger stress build up and block your thinking. When you begin to feel frustration, use the Countdown To Calmness. Count slowly to yourself 10, 9, 8 and so on to 1 Followed by a self command: "Be Calm, Be Calm."

5. Finding Your Educational Goal

If you know where you are heading, your motivation to study is improved. Go to your Guidance Office to take interest tests and ability tests. You can compare your profile with numerous business opportunities and professions to find a fit. You will have a better idea of your direction.

  Copyright 2006 James F. Hubbard
All Rights Reserved
May Be Copied For Educational Purposes Only