The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Avoid stress by balancing lives: school, social life, relationships

By Jacqueline Buitron and Anderson Colemon/reporters

Although a factor of everyday life, stress can pose a threat in the education of a college student and, if not properly controlled, can lead to the end of the beginning of a career.

NE student Brittany Shawver said the level of stress varies for her depending on her school load and what’s affecting her outside of school.

“Paying for bills and going to school while also having to pay for other things like my dog is very challenging,” she said. “I don’t know how parents with children and other obligations are able to do it.”

Shawver said sometimes if she gets overstressed, she tries to forget about the situation.

“Although if the stress gets too bad, I just ask for help from my sister or mom,” she said.

Learning to balance families, work and school can be a huge cause of stress on a student.

The solution is not about brains. It is about balance, said South Campus counselor Sandra Johnson. Students’ biggest cause of stress is not balancing worlds, not prioritizing, she said. Students need to prioritize, commit and follow through.

Many students visit the counseling centers because stress has now become a threat in their lives, Johnson said.

“Not all students know,” she said. “They are oblivious.” 

Some may go in to get help and guidance once the situation has become crucial, such as when they are on financial aid and on the verge of dropping. Others are afraid to speak with anyone for fear of confronting the situation. Johnson said 90 percent of students flunking a class walk away because they are afraid to step up and look eyeball to eyeball with their professors.

According to a study done by the Student Stress Survey, five top sources account for stress among college students — change in sleeping habits, vacation/breaks, change in eating habits, increased workload and new responsibilities. New responsibilities and financial difficulties were at 73 percent and 71 percent, respectively. Death of a family member was at 12 percent.

During her first semester of college, distance learning student Silvia Ortiz’s father died. Because of the circumstances, she said she missed a lot of school and fell behind in her classes. She was taking a full load, working and had two children.

Having to deal with her father’s death and missing school became very stressful for her. She decided to continue with her classes. She said her science class had been a difficult one for her even before her father died. Afterward, she never caught up, so she had to repeat that course the following summer.

Many situations can cause a college student to become stressed and run the risk of failing and giving up completely.

NE student Lenard Brousseau deals with stress on different terms.

“My church helps me cope with the stress, and hanging out with friends also helps,” he said. “Paying bills add on to the biggest problem of my stress. When exams come up, it’s at its worst.”

Tips for Avoiding Stress:

1. Talk with your professors; communicate with them about what you need.

2. After registration and starting school, return to the counseling center and engage with someone you feel comfortable with. Develop a relationship with that person.

3. Follow through with counseling or advisement.

4. Come in with a perspective.

5. Last but not least, have a plan.

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