First off, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Remy Kam; I’m a freshman here at The University of Wisconsin-Madison and I ironically have an unhealthy obsession with staying health and fit. I want to write my first article on something that would apply to most freshman and students here on campus: stress.
Oh yes, that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach, like butterflies on steroids. Every moment you spend thinking about those math questions you still haven’t finished, or those pages you still haven’t read: stress. And what do we do? We avoid. We procrastinate and create other obligations such as cleaning our room or eating whatever is in sight; things which we would not chose to do normally, but in this case are the lesser of the two evils.
This stress you feel is an environmental simulator or event that most people tend to view as a threat, and therefore respond to with the desire to escape or minimize. The stress that I am talking about in this case is distress or duress, the stress of negative events, such as an exam or being late for class. Stress is different for all people; some may view something as extremely stressful, while the others may view it as a walk in the park. Therefore when trying to battle your own stress, you must first understand how much you can personally handle.
For those of you who consider stress as a “myth” or excuse, research and science proves this wrong. In fact, in what is called a hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA), a stresser can activate a chain of events, which can potentially lead to physiological problems. This chain can result in increased blood pressure, heart rate, and even memory loss. This can be a reason why in the middle of a test you all of a sudden cannot remember the answer to a problem or question.
Although this stress is not always preventable, how much stress and how many times you are stressed can be monitored. Next time you want to eat a candy bar or talk to your friends on Facebook instead of doing your homework, just don’t do it. Rather go on a run or do some other physical activity to shake the anxiety out of your system. However, do not use this as another way of procrastinating.
When it comes to stress the best solution is never to avoid. Plan ahead. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t leave things last minute.