Stress of college and jobs can take their toll on students

Keri Ondrus and Keri Ondrus

This would have been Jake Wilde’s senior year at BGSU. Now, Wilde has no job, no classes, no phone, and most importantly, no stress — unless he’s watching the Cleveland Browns. But this situation seems to be a rare one as far as many young adults in the college age generation.

Many students who stress about more than their favorite football team visit the Counseling Center in Saddlemire, where JoAnn Kroll, director, offers advice to reduce anxiety.

“Many preparatory tasks such as writing resumes, registering with the career center, polishing interviewing skills, and clarifying career goals can help students prepare for their job search,” Kroll said. “Beginning early with preparing for this search can alleviate a significant amount of stress for most students.”

Laura Nelson, senior, said she has felt stress to achieve her best since high school, and these feelings have carried over into college.

To cut down on stress, Nelson has cut down her involvement in organizations from five to two.

“This year I dropped some activities because I realized I wasn’t completely happy with what I was doing,” Nelson said. “I wanted to take time to get my head straight, figure out what I really wanted to do.”

Though one of the suggested reasons for a rise of stress within this generation is added pressure from parents, Nelson said this was not exactly the case for her.

“My parents raised me to understand that I was fully capable of doing anything I set my mind to,” Nelson said. “I could get straight A’s, be in every activity, do anything. But it was not that they pressured me – in the end, I pressured myself.”

This pressure, however it comes about, could lead students to develop symptoms caused directly from stress. The Healthylife Student’s Self-Care guide, located on BGSU’s Web site, offers lists of signs and symptoms to look for in those suffering from excess stress, as well as ways this stress can be treated. A list of questions to review for checking for high levels of stress is also provided on the site.

Wilde will probably never find himself needing to visit this Web site.

His prescription for someone with stress in their life is simply to find an enjoyable hobby, something that is done for no reason other than the enjoyment it brings.

The drive to become rich and successful also causes a great deal of strain on the lives of many college students. However, Wilde claims desire of money is no reason to stress.

“Money is just that, money,” he said. “There are people with lots of money and lots of stress just like there are people with no money and not a lot of stress. It all depends on the person.”

Matt Persinger, junior, sums up the feelings of many students on campus.

“The stress I feel is not something so bad I feel like I’d ever need help for, but it is something that is there,” Persinger said. “When I’m stressed, it’s just like there’s always something on the back of my mind.”

Persinger offers advice to fellow overwhelmed students: “You just have to remember that there’s so much more than just school, and it’s important to keep a good perspective.”