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Opinion

Managing your stressful, demanding fall semester

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September 30, 2011

Stress. For most college students, it is a word, when spoken, that makes us cringe. With balancing, on average, five to six classes per semester and all of the homework each of them require it can get stressful. Plus if you have a job, or an internship then throw the social aspect of college into the mix, you could be filled to the brim with stress.

Fortunately for some students, they are able to deal with stress relatively well. For others, it can be quite difficult. My advice to you is to find a stress reliever. Whether it is a video game or even getting in touch with your inner child and coloring a picture, be sure to make some time for yourself. Being a college student myself, I have been in the position where I feel like I’ll never get done with the mountain of homework my professors assign me. There have been times when I’ve had four exams on the same day and I just can’t focus on studying for 14 hours on end. However, I’ve found it helpful to break up my homework and studying time with a stress reliever that can give me a few minutes to have my mind at ease. You just have to be sure that your stress reliever doesn’t turn into a major distraction.

My stress reliever happens to be the television show Gilmore Girls. It was a popular TV series from the year 2000 until 2007 that starred Lauren Graham (TV series Parenthood), Alexis Bledel (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) and Melissa Mc- Carthy (TV series Mike and Molly). I am willing to admit that I own all seven seasons of the show and I can often be found watching random episodes from each season when I find myself in a stressful situation. There is something about the humor, the references to different actors, bands, movies and also the fast-paced lives of the characters that make the show extremely entertaining to me. However, I have to limit myself to one or two episodes because if I don’t, I might end up watching the show for hours.

I also recommend hitting the gym or even just going for a walk or run. I often find that physical activity puts my mind at ease and I seem to feel refreshed and a lot more relaxed after a nice walk around campus or hitting the gym for a little while. What is more important than finding a stress reliever however, is if you are having trouble managing your stress and concerns, don’t be afraid to make an appointment with the Counseling Services, Career Services, or Student Health Services which are located in Hagestad Hall. Another campus resource that you can look into is the Academic Success Center, which is located in the Davee Library.

Each resource is able to help assist you in dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, relationships, grades, grief and many more concerns you may have. The counselors that are available to you are willing to help you and make sure that you have a successful experience in college. On a side note, all counseling records are kept strictly confidential and the counseling services are available to enrolled students with no extra cost with the exception of alcohol and drug assessments for which you will be charged a fee. The Counseling Service staff members are also licensed in the state of Wisconsin. For more information, you can go to the Student Health and Counseling Services page on the UW-River Falls website or stop by any of the service centers. When you find yourself in a stressful situation, try to keep yourself as calm as possible and don’t stress yourself out more than you already are. Remember to take deep breaths and make time for yourself to relax. College can be quite stressful, but there are people around you that are willing to help make it an upbeat experience.

Samantha Mayberry is a junior and is majoring in journalism. She is from Rochester, Minn., and loves to read, listen to music and take pictures.