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Classic Signals: People find support for anxiety

By Viktoria Ristanovic
Features Editor

As we move further in the fall semester, we may feel settled in, but stress can still affect students both physically and mentally, especially as we approach midterms.

In an October 1999 issue of The Signal, a reporter wrote about how students at the College managed their triggers of stress. From adjusting to college life to dealing with graduation and applying for first “real” jobs, many students found that the best way to manage stress is to keep a to-do list and practice their time management skills. 

Exams and assignments can be overwhelming for students (Photo courtesy of the TCNJ Digital Archives).

The coffee is brewing in the lounge, the books are wide open. Eyes are bloodshot with dark circles forming underneath them. You’re worn out, but you can’t be— it’s midterm season. 

During this time of the semester your classes, job, extracurricular activities and social life become overwhelming. Sleep becomes a luxury, and stress develops. Certainly, stress hits every college student at some point in his life. Freshmen and seniors in particular may be faced with certain types of stress. 

Freshmen must deal with learning how to adapt to college life, including learning professors’ expectations, new time management skills and juggling classwork with a social life. 

Seniors may have to deal with stress about graduation, graduate school, their first “real” job, and relationship decisions. If not dealt with properly, these stresses can lead to stomach problems, tension headaches, anxiety, depression, eating disorders or substance abuse. 

The American College Health Association said that “negative, excessive stress may be a key element in half of all illnesses, ranging from the common cold to heart disease.” 

Symptoms can include rashes, elevated blood pressure, perspiration of hands, insomnia, hypersomnia, twitches, chest tightness, stiff neck, anger, irritability, drug or alcohol use, smoking, feeling helpless, worried, inadequate, pressured, exhausted, bored, dissatisfied, tense, having trouble concentrating, or feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. 

Fortunately, there are ways to help alleviate stress. 

One way is to just talk to some-one. The American College Health Association recommends letting friends help you when you are under too much stress and then doing the same for them. 

Releasing some of the tension through a support system can help students cope with the demands and changes faced in everyday life. Some people find strength in their families; many find it in churches, synagogues, service clubs or even support groups. 


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