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Thursday, June 13, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Stress: A College Epidemic

Stress is the number one reported problem college students struggle with, according to the National College Health Assessment.

Out of 142 students polled at UB by The Spectrum, approximately 94 percent admitted to having felt some sort of stress. The remaining 6 percent said that their way of dealing with stress was to not even acknowledge it.

"I try not to think that I'm stressed, because it's not good for you," said Price Obot, a sophomore biological sciences and psychology major. "I just try to ignore it and that's how I manage it."

However, despite all the conceptions about stress, not all stress is bad, according to Michelle Olandese, a counselor from Student Health and Wellness.

"There's good anxiety too," Olandese said. "It's what keeps you motivated to do well in whatever you set out [to accomplish]. It can motivate us to do better."

Students who feel that stress is taking its toll on them can stop by Wellness Education Services in the Student Union. The Wellness Center hosts health promoting services to students including information about nutrition, stress, anxiety, and much more.

"We cater to about 9,000 students every year," said David Morgante, stress management coordinator at Wellness Education Services.

The most popular feature of Wellness Education Services is its free massages. Morgante believes that physical stress relief is the main reason for its popularity.

"It helps [relieve] physical tension," Morgante said. "Students carry backpacks around all day and all they need is a few minutes for the massage and it can help them relax."

Some students, however, dislike massages and turn to hobbies such as music, dancing, knitting, or shopping as outlets. Other students make the most of modern technology and go to the Internet to find their stress reliever.

"One word – Youtube," said Raquel Mendelow, a graduate student in library and information studies. "Whenever I'm feeling stressed I just go on to Youtube and…find funny videos. I'll be laughing in no time and it'll instantly make me feel better."

In a separate survey, approximately 76 percent of 100 freshmen polled at UB said that being financially stable was very important to being successful.

Additionally, many students feel stressed when they are faced with deadlines and exams. Blanking out during exams isn't an uncommon symptom of anxiety. There are good and bad ways of coping and dwelling on things isn't healthy.

"Being anxious is not the way to deal with things," Olandese said. "Accept whatever happened and move on."

Joining student clubs is one way for students to de-stress, according to Morgante. The Student Health and Wellness team recommends that each person try to find their own way of handling high stress situations.

"Not everyone is programmed to function similarly, so not everyone will have the same way of dealing with stress," Olandese said. "Be better prepared the next time there's an important deadline or exam."

Email: features@ubspectrum.com


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