Dropping the Ball—How Detrimental Stress Can Be

Hi friends! I know it’s been an extremely long while since I’ve published anything, but I’m still here with lots of thoughts in my head. More importantly, I’m here to talk about how debilitating compounded stress can be.

I have an entire folder of articles that are half-completed, started but not finished, with notes and angry crossed out sentences because thoughts weren’t completed. Any writer will tell you how difficult it can be to work through writer’s block. And any college student can tell you how difficult it can be to work through stress.

In college, there are always a million different things being thrown at you, from jobs to homework to finding personal time. It’s a ridiculous balancing act that, unfortunately, is going to be one that we struggle with for literal ever.

And I definitely know I’m not the only one going through it right now. Scientific evidence suggests that anywhere from 20-60% of college students experience debilitating stress and anxiety. Even more alarming, mental health services on campus are not growing as quickly as the needs of students are.

Photo Credit: Heather Tuttle

It’s a very vicious cycle too. In a study published in Research in Higher Education, grades are impacted by compounded stress, which in turn leads to, guess what? MORE STRESS.

There isn’t one be-all end-all solution to coping with stress, but I can suggest a few things that I personally do (or have been trying):

  • Get adult coloring books. It is very stress relieving and occupies most of your headspace, so you can put everything else on pause!

  • Go for a walk. Spring is on its way and the weather is better to be outside. Sometimes, the confines of our rooms or the spaces we tend to occupy can be claustrophobic and some new air is needed.

  • Find new music to listen to. Search for @hercampusBU on Spotify. We’ve got some pretty cool playlists if you ask me! *insert hair flip*

  • If you need to, don’t be afraid to consider changing your responsibilities. I dropped a Developmental Psychology course because it was taking up too much headspace and adding more stress than I could really handle. It was a really hard decision, but now that I’ve done it, I feel much better and am slowly starting to pick up my old responsibilities again.

  • Get therapy. Having someone to talk to, even if about something as little as exams, can ease your conscious and help you feel like you have someone on your team. Sometimes stress can be really lonely, let someone else help you carry the weight of your world.

At the end of the day, mental health is extremely important, but also difficult. As much as self-care is promoted, going shopping or doing a face mask isn’t going to cure the debilitating stress of college. Finding productive outlets, like therapy, music, or art can help ease the weight of the world.

Don’t be afraid to make adjustments for the sake of your inner peace—that’s the most important thing.

 

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