How to handle the stress of being a college student

Nov 7 • Opinion, Top Stories • 176

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Gross anatomy is kicking my butt. Up until this point in my life, this is by far the most difficult course I have ever taken. With the increased difficulty of the workload comes a lot of added stress. For someone who has had issues with stress in the past, the adjustment of going from having no work to do over the summer to having the most work I have ever had to do has been a big one.

Luckily, with some help from my friends and family, I have been able to find some ways that I can alleviate most of my stress, even if it is just for a little bit.

First and foremost, if I am feeling really overwhelmed, I feel that it works really well to just watch a movie or television show. For me, movies normally work better just because they get my mind off whatever is troubling me for a while.

I am not sure what is is, but no matter what is going on in my life, if I can find two hours to set aside to get invested in a story about someone else, my mind immediately gets transported into the world of the movie, and I instantly forget about what is going on in my life.

Typically, I try to find a movie that deals with the opposite of what I am dealing with, so if I am worried about gross anatomy, I am not going to watch anything that has to do with medicine or hospitals.

If I am having issues with my friends or family, I am probably not going to watch something that is really intense. For me, my go-to movie when I am feeling down is “Transformers.” There is nothing better than coming home after a long day and watching giant robots destroy each other for a couple hours. It’s the perfect movie to just sit and shut off your brain.

The other way that I calm myself down when I am feeling anxious is by taking a drive. Since I was a kid, I have been taking drives with my family and friends. Anytime something is really bothering me here at school, I find that all I have to do is crank up some music and drive to Presque Isle and just cruise.

Something about the lay of the land, the music and the freedom that I think we all subconsciously associate with driving helps calm me down. The world just seems to make much more sense when I am behind the wheel. Music selection here is also very important. Depending on what is bothering me, I may choose to listen to some sad power ballads and just embrace whatever I am feeling. If what I am feeling is something that I have to get over quickly, high energy ‘80s synth pop normally does the trick. For everything else, I find it the most beneficial to just put my phone on shuffle and stop on the song that I most feel like listening to.

The methods of dealing with stress that I have talked about are just what works for me, and what works for me could very well not work for you.

I know multiple people who both hate taking the time to watch a movie and sitting in the car with no real destination. And that is OK.

What is important is that each of us finds our own proverbial “happy place” and are able to go there when times get tough.

BENJAMIN HAYLETT

haylett001@knights.gannon.edu

 

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