Stress and the Life of a College Student


Posted Sat, Mar 9, 2013

courtesy of

DENVER — Going to college is a very important part of millions of American lives. Going to college can also be the first step for great things to come in a person’s life. However, the life of a college student is not always as smooth as silk. As many know college life can be stressful, and many students, and even professors, know this more than anybody.

College students are always balancing many things. School, work, family, relationships; the list is every growing. This leads to a time crunch for many students. MSU English professor Rebecca O’Neill she sees this continually happen to students.

“Stress is difficult for students to cut out,” says O’Neill. “Students in (my) upper division, as well as other upper division classes, have to decide what to turn in.”

However, O’Neill says it can go both ways. Professors can become stressed too. “It depends on the class. New professors have a tough time.”

As with new professors, new students have a tough time as well with school. Not only is MSU freshman Jenee Osborn having to balance her studies, she also has to balance being a mother.

“It gets me angry, and I get overwhelmed,” says Osborn on how stress affects her. However, she knows that this experience can lead to bigger and better thing. This is apparent as she tries to keep her eye on the prize.

“I try to stay positive and not let the little things bother me,” she says about the sometimes difficulties of being a college student and being a mother. However, no matter how stressful her life may get, there is always one thing keeping her motivated.

“My kids as much as they stress me out,” she says with a bright smile.

While stress is always difficult to deal with, knowing what type of stress a person has can be beneficial.

“There are two types of stress; distress and eustress,” says Dr. Mary Ann Watson, who works in the psychology department at Metro State. “The distressers are the negative ones that get in the way of performance. Eustressors, good stressors, can sometimes be beneficial; but, even though they are good events in our life (graduation, marriage, birth of a child) they still get in the way of performance.”

Dr. Watson mentions that stress can not be overcame, but if managed effectively, it does not have to be a major problem in a person’s life.

“Humans differ physiologically and psychologically in their response to stress. Some people thrive on a certain amount of stress,” she says about the differences among people. “Most of us, however, try to manage our stress with exercise, diet, adequate sleep, cognitive restructuring (a psychological method that allows us to engage in useful self-talk when we approach a stressful event). We don’t “overcome” stress, but we can certainly manage it in ways that can be healthy.”

Tips to Manage Stress courtesy of WEBMD
• Keep a positive attitude.
• Accept that there are events that you cannot control.
• Be assertive instead of aggressive. Assert your feelings, opinions, or beliefs instead of becoming angry, defensive, or passive.
• Learn and practice relaxation techniques; try meditation, yoga, or tai-chi.
• Exercise regularly. Your body can fight stress better when it is fit.
• Eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
• Learn to manage your time more effectively.
• Set limits appropriately and say no to requests that would create excessive stress in your life.
• Make time for hobbies and interests.
• Get enough rest and sleep. Your body needs time to recover from stressful events.
• Don’t rely on alcohol, drugs, or food to reduce stress. Ease up on caffeine, too.
• Seek out social support. Spend enough time with those you love.
• Seek treatment with a psychologist or other mental health professional trained in stress management or biofeedback techniques to learn more healthy ways of dealing with the stress in your life

About Davy Burke

Davy Burke is a broadcast journalism student at MSU-Denver. Davy is a big sports fan and enjoys watching, covering, and broadcasting sporting events. He is also passionate about writng any news story possible.

View all posts by Davy Burke

9 Responses to “Stress and the Life of a College Student”

  1. Stephanie V. Coleman Says:

    Appropriate topic for this time in the semester and very relatable. I enjoyed the useful tips at the end of the story.


  2. Grace Says:

    Loved this story! Stress is something that all college folks deal with but no one ever really addresses it, we all know it’s there, but no one acknowledges it. Finally someone brings some attention to it!


  3. Jen Sasser Says:

    Thanks for including the “Tips” section- very practical.


  4. J.R. Johnson Says:

    Lots of useful info in your story, especially with mid-terms coming up.


  5. Ted Says:

    This article was timed appropriately. I’m sure many of your readers can really hear you on this, I sure do. I had a little trouble with the “flow” of the article at certain times. But you used a very smooth transition when introducing Dr. Mary Ann Watson. Ending with an informative quote is a great way to finish this article. The sidebar is excellent.


  6. A A Says:

    Very relevant to the audience


  7. Stephanie Alderton Says:

    This is definitely something all college students can relate to! The quotes from Dr. Watson (hehe) are helpful, as is the sidebar.


  8. Emily Pennetti Says:

    Great for college students! didn’t know there were different types of stresses


  9. Maureen Says:

    “overcome” not “overcame” in 2nd to last paragraph. helpful story. good job.


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