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Stress: and how to deal

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Stress: and how to deal

Lauren Saizon

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With classes, jobs and extra-curricular activities filling up schedules, it’s no wonder why students often find themselves stressed out every now and again.

According to a survey conducted by The Associated Press and MTV in 2009, eighty-five percent of college students feel stressed on a daily basis.

Loyola students like Sabrina Hernandez, Environmental Science senior, struggle with just finding enough time to get everything done, like studying and homework.

“So many unexpected events can come up over the course of the semester,” Hernandez said.

Dr. Alicia Bourque, Director of the University Counseling and Health Services, said that the ill-effects of stress can be two-fold.

“Some short term consequences might be just situational anxiety, a tension headache, tardiness to class or work, and decreased concentration,” Bourque said.

These short-term consequences can quickly snowball into bigger health issues, such as sleep disturbances and insomnia, which then leads to fatigue and forgetfulness, said Bourque.

Bourque recommends that students do something that they enjoy to balance the stress.

“One of the things that students can do is to find 30 minutes out of every day to do something pleasurable — like walking, reading listening to music, hanging out with friends or family, whatever that may be,” Bourque said.

Since other impacts on stress can include nutrition, Bourque recommends taking advantage of healthier food options on campus and avoiding too much caffeine.

“Sometimes when students are feeling stressed, hormone levels of cortisol increase, and that’s when you get those cravings for junk food that sort of have that immediate gratification effect,” Bourque said.

Katrina Ratliff, biology sophomore, said that she simply likes to watch Netflix to de-stress.

As a senior, Hernandez said that she has learned a lot about time management in her years at Loyola.

“Being busy comes with the territory of being a college student and an adult. It’s important to get things done as soon as you can,” Hernandez said.

Bourque said that procrastination can also come as a result of stress.

“Procrastination is rooted in anxiety, so the sooner you get started on a paper, the better off you’ll be in the long run,” Bourque said.

Though students may turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of alleviating stress, Hernandez said that there are better opportunities available that could, in turn, benefit others while also helping yourself.

“Volunteering is a great way to relax and take your mind off school-related worries. LUCAP offers tons of great projects that go out on the weekends,” Hernandez said.

Bourque also listed numerous services available to Loyola students including University ministry, the University Sports Complex and the University Counseling Center.

“The counseling center, in mid-February, is starting a time management workshop for all students. It’s a presentation on how to effectively balance time,” Bourque said.

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