Faculty discuss ways to manage stress as a college student


Pamela Farer-Singleton, adjunct associate professor in the department of psychology 

Carrie Whalen

Junior exercise science major Erica Ganser experiences stress from different factors in her life.

“The main stress I have right now is the cost of living while being a student,” Ganser said. “Just being able to live, you can take money out in loans for living and tuition but then there’s living expenses.”

Students who have jobs while attending school full-time might experience the feeling of not having enough hours in the day to get everything done. This can cause massive amounts of stress and anxiety if not handled properly.

“To help with the stress, I try to get outside for fresh air, take a walk or participate in any physical activities I have time for,” Ganser said. “My main stress relief is horseback riding.”

Students can use the on-campus resources for mental health; however, the appointments typically fill up within the first four weeks of the semester. The resources include the University Health Services Psychological Services, the Counseling and Human Development Center and the Psychology Clinic.”

”Whether it’s stress or anxiety, seek out help ahead of time,” said Jason Miller, the director of the Counseling and Human Development Center. “If you know that you’re the kind of person who will be stressed out, maybe seek out help for the beginning of the year before things start to build up.”

Tips to Manage Stress

All of the on-campus resources provide hand-out flyers that give students tips on how to manage their own stress by incorporating things into their daily lives:

* Talk with someone

* Get enough sleep

* Move your body

* Avoid caffeine, alcohol and other non-prescribed drugs

* Eliminate or reduce unnecessary obligations

* Live in the present

* Practice relaxation techniques

* Set goals

* Maintain a sense of humor

* Do things you enjoy

* Remind yourself that this distress is temporary

* Try not to make any major decisions or changes

The Counseling and Human Development Center has seen a steady flow of traffic throughout the semester. Historically, the center would see an uptake at the end; however, it has been busy this whole semester.

“Right now if someone is struggling with it, it is a bit challenging to get help on campus,” Miller said. “There are off-campus resources that we certainly provide people. But I think there are things that people can do.”

People who experience stress need to find out what they need, Miller said. People need to think about themselves and that can help them stay grounded.

At the end of the semester, students lives get busier. To help with this, students can stay organized by planning.

“You need to consider your goals and what you want to do,” Pamela Farer-Singleton, an adjunct associate professor in the department of Psychology said. “If you’re generally overwhelmed, take bite-sized pieces. First, portion what you need to do and complete it in pieces.”

Mapping out everything can help to keep a student’s priorities organized, and it can help to set realistic goals of when they can get things done.

Kent State also offers a Meditation Across Campus program to help reduce stress in students in 30-minute sessions in various locations. Melissa Celko, the director of Kent State Wellness, helps to lead some of the sessions.

“It’s a great experience for students who have never meditated before or who have previous experience,” Celko said.

Carrie Whalen covers social sciences. Contact her at [email protected].