76 percent of Kent State students surveyed are stressed
DetailsCreated on Friday, 27 April 2012 02:58 Hits: 1951 Out of 100 Kent State University Students surveyed, 40 percent of students said, when dealing with stress, they use physical activity to relieve stress. Twenty-four percent choose to wait out the stress and hope it goes away.
Only 7 percent of students surveyed said they do not feel stressed out at all, and about 76 percent have experienced symptoms of stress — depression and suicide among them.
Megan Adornetto, a freshman interior design major, says she feels overwhelmed with stress and anxiety because of the amount of schoolwork given in college.
Adornetto is currently enrolled in the Honors College, which makes her classes twice as rigorous as regular classes.
“Last semester, 18 credit hours,” Adornetto said. “This semester, 18 credit hours. I’m going to guess next semester is going to be 18 credit hours at least. On a daily basis, I wake up, go to class … go to studio [where interior design majors work on their projects], do homework, go to sleep at 3 or 4 in the morning every day.”
A former classmate of Adornetto’s at Westlake High School, Christian Petrila is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. He says he rarely ever gets stressed out over schoolwork.
“I’m taking about 16 or 17 credit hours this semester,” Petrila said. “On Mondays and Wednesdays I have [three consecutive classes]. Wednesdays I have to wake up at 8 [a.m.] to get down to TV2 in time for the morning Flash Cast, but my Tuesdays and Thursdays are great; I have one class, it’s done at a quarter to 2 and Fridays I have off … It’s not an overwhelming schedule by any means.”
Adornetto says on average she sleeps about four to five hours a night, while Petrila aims for eight or nine hours. The lack of sleep hurts Adornetto physically and mentally, she said, and she sometimes can’t focus on the task at hand.
Petrila said waking up refreshed isn’t a problem and he is able to focus more on his schoolwork.
Adornetto said she expects next semester will be even more stressful for her. Through conversations with upperclassmen in interior design, she has learned sophomore year is the hardest year for her major and may result in even more all-nighters.
“[For our major], you really don’t sit down and study for tests,” Adornetto said. “We sit in a studio and work on tedious projects for hours upon hours. In high school we didn’t really do a lot of that, and now you do, and it sucks.”
For Petrila, journalism majors do much more writing and are less test-oriented and this can be less stressful for him. “Studying [gives me the most stress] because stressing over not knowing what’s going to be on the test and all that stuff, that would have to be the big thing that gives me problems; that and essays and papers,” Petrila said.
However, both Petrila and Adornetto are able to take time out of their Thursday nights to play on an intramural softball team. Adornetto said she believes softball helped get her mind off school because she was playing the game she loved.
When asked if being around friends and family helped them become less stressed, they said: Using friends and family as a support system can “sway both ways,” Adornetto said.
Sometimes being around friends and family makes me less stressed, but I also do get more distracted around my friends and classmates while in studio,” she said.
Petrila said using others to reduce his stress “absolutely” works.
“Whether it's conversation or anything else, just being in the company of others is a great stress reliever.”
Both Petrila and Adornetto can agree on one thing: When the going gets tough, they choose to keep going.
“I try not to focus on the negative or how stressed out I am,” Adornetto said. “If I do, I end up realizing just how stressed I really am, then I just hope that it won’t get the best of me and tell myself not to freak out. Life is too short to get too hung up on the bad, I just try not to let myself think like that.”
Tips to handle stressPeople use the word “stress” to relate to anxiety that takes place during everyday life.
“[Stress is] your response either behaviorally or physiologically to something you perceive as threatening, challenging or a loss,” said Robin Joynes, an assistant professor in the psychology department. “Coping and managing stress is vital to living a stress-free life. Anxiety and stress are parts of life that people learn to recognize easily and cope with as they become older and mature.”
Symptoms include difficulty sleeping, upset stomach, elevated heart rate, change in appetite, clenched teeth, frustration, moodiness, muscle aches, low energy and headaches.
Many college students use alternative ways to deal with their stress — such as drugs and alcohol — because they don’t know of the ways to deal with it themselves.
“They might be good for the short term and make you forget, but in the long term, they are not going to be very adaptive,” Joynes said. Instead, students should first identify what stresses them out then formulate a plan to tackle their stress.