School, work and tension: how students cope with daily stress

by Eduardo Merille

The quintessential student attends class, participates in school events, is part of organizations and, on top of that, lives away from campus grounds. With these extracurricular activities, it gives students less time to relax and more to add on their to-do list.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health problems on college campuses. 40 million U.S. adults suffer from an anxiety disorder, and 75 percent of them experience their first episode of anxiety by age 22.”

The ADAA also stated that 80 percent of students say they’ve experienced daily stress.

Micaela Suarez, a junior business major has felt the pressure. Being finance chair of the Student Government Association at the Biscayne Bay Campus, Alternative Breaks site leader for the Cause of Homelessness and a Academy of Leaders graduate, she’s still able to save time for her personal and family responsibilities.

“I became the family chauffeur because two more people, family members, came to live in my house,” said Suarez. “I am the oldest, so I am responsible for helping with homework, keeping the house and setting the example by doing my homework.”

Suarez also said, “I keep an agenda to write down weekly assignments and professional goals because if I don’t, I will forget.”

Suarez enjoys listening to music and walking her dog, and says that it is very peaceful where she lives. She details how she has a support group of friends that help her talk about any issues that concern her.

“I try to not let it bring me down because a lot is depending on me,” said Suarez. “I must be dealing with it in a positive way.”

Amanda Cantillo, a senior hospitality major and president of greek organization, Phi Mu has managed to stay committed to her responsibilities and give time for herself and loved ones.

“When I tell people I’m president of two very involved organizations people usually give me the ‘you’re crazy’ look. It does take a lot of time and dedication, but I think it is important to make an impact on what you’re going to associate yourself with,” said Cantillo. “ I found two things I really loved and gave them time and commitment. You have to get those calendar dates early to get them in your agenda and make sure you give each time to know if you have a conflict of schedule.”

Although she’s highly involved on campus, Cantillo said her classes are her top priority.

“School is always priority No. 1 and I never compromise on that. Once I was able to balance those out, I could add other organizations that fit around those three that I prioritize,” said Cantillo. “My schedule isn’t for everyone. If you like your down time, make sure you prioritize that to keep up with your mental health. I get bored if I have too much down time so this is what makes me happy.”

Alexandra Marolla, a senior in marketing said,” I wake up, check my emails and see what I have to get done for the day.”

That’s her first process to stay organized and go on with the day.

“Most of time, I’ll start working on homework, study, or go to class,” said Marolla. “I have two planners right now to keep track of everything; one is for my classes, and the other one is for bills and social events.”

Marolla also said that she releases her stress by working out, watching a show or movie, reading a book and going out with friends.

Students, as much as they want to overachieve, can all face mental health problems.

According to, students should get enough sleep, eat well, exercise, avoid unnatural energy boosters, get emotional support from loved ones and avoid overloading themselves.


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