Maytinee Kramer/Staff writer
Every Panther has felt overwhelmed and stressed at one point in their college career. It sometimes feels as though you can’t function or you can’t muster the willpower to pull yourself out of a ditch. It’s normal for most people to experience anxiety and stress from time to time but, for some, it can start to interfere with daily life which could eventually indicate a more serious issue.
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, fear, or unease, that if strong enough, can interfere with one’s daily activities. It can be a reaction to stress, which is any demand placed on the brain or body. Many people associate stress and anxiety with an inability to take control of one’s problems or with weakness.
People may feel stressed when many demands are placed on them and can be triggered by an event that makes them feel nervous or frustrated. An example of this can be seen during exam time when Panthers are scattered all over FIU studying or cramming for their tests, or when students put assignments off until the last minute, feeling overwhelmed by the large amounts of work they must complete.
According to a study by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Penn State, more than 100,000 students nationwide at 140 colleges and universities were surveyed having sought help at campus counseling centers. More than half cited anxiety as a health concern and was identified as the top concern for nearly 20 percent of the students. Other concerns included depression, relationship problems, stress, academic performance and family.
“I usually feel the most stress when I lack sleep. My loss of sleep is related to school work and personal affairs,” Alfredo Fernandez, a senior majoring in Philosophy, said.
Another reason anxiety and stress is high among students is the growing presence of technology in their lives. With information overload, so much to learn and so much to know, students may feel rushed and pressured when connected to the digital world. It’s also common for students to put aside important matters to watch a few seasons on Netflix or scroll Facebook for hours, leading to procrastination.
As FIU is an institution committed to providing a safe and friendly environment for students, Panthers are encouraged to use academic and personal resources at Student Health Services and Counseling and Psychological Services in order to more fully enjoy their college experience.
To help with finding balance between demands, SHS offers many programs to help reduce stress, including stress management consultations, aromatherapy, massage therapy and acupuncture. CAPS provides both individual and group mental health services that will facilitate and enhance students’ personal learning, emotional well-being and academic skills development.
It’s important for students to recognize that stress is a part of life and while a certain level of stress can be healthy and motivating, too much stress can cause problems. Rather than succumbing to the pressure and emotions stress can cause, Panthers should find approaches to reduce the level of stress and anxiety. Fernandez, for example, reduces his stress by “having a trusted network of friends” who he can hang out and socialize with when he’s trying to meet the demands of his heavy course load.
A daily dose of exercise, listening to music, walking, writing in a journal, focusing on planning and managing time are just some of the other ways students can relieve stress.
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of FIU Student Media Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.
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