People live through daily hassles and at times have to face real experiences that have negative effect on their emotions and physical being. At times, stress becomes part of life of an individual. Stress refers to events that strain the physical being and emotions of an individual through exertion of pressure (Helpguide.org, 2010). In most cases, stress is a personal phenomenon. Whatever that causes, stress in one person may not cause stress in another. Although stress makes people to think negatively, not all people experience negative thoughts when they are stressed. This essay focuses on the causes and effects of stress on college students.Causes of StressAfter high school, students have to go to college. The environment has change and this sudden change exerts pressure on some undergraduates (Neal, 1985). Some students have never known what it feels like living away from home and so they tend to be stressed. At times, the stress is so much that some students are overwhelmed and may drop out of college.Over the years, institutions have changed in both complexity and size. This has led to increased diversity of students and one has to socialize with people of diversified backgrounds. Socialization becomes a problem because a student does not understand the way of life of others (Katz, 1969). This can coerce some students to be alone because they feel that there is none understands their culture. It is also important to note that since many students do not understand each other's backgrounds, their behaviors easily irritate others. Some feel that they are not getting enough privacy or even the activities of their roommates bore them.Admission rates and the increase in fields of study have resulted to a high number of students (Katz, 1969). The high number of students makes the lecturers to lose "personal" contact with them. Lack of attention and care can stress some students who need guidance in their studies. At some point, some students are stressed on how to achieve academically. They always think about what their parents, peers, and siblings will think about them if they do not get good grades. Assignment deadlines, too many tests, and complex fields exert a lot of pressure on the minds of students. Academic pressure makes the students to concentrate so much on studies such that they have little or no time for sleeping and eating. This makes them to result into poor diet that elevates stress (Katz, 1969). For instance, most college students will take chocolate, fast foods, and soft drinks that do not have the essential nutrients that buffer stress (Changing minds.org, 2010).
The increase in complexity of some subjects puts a lot of pressure on students (Neal, 1985). This forces them to study too much while avoiding physical activity and socialization. Sometimes, they have to extend their studies during holidays so that they can get good grades. Most of the students end up being lonely, bored and stressed because they cannot relax.
Expensive college life and economic meltdowns like the 2008 financial downturn leaves students with little money. College fees are very expensive and they have to take part time jobs so that they can be able to sustain their lives. They also have to meet family expectations of being mature, educated, and financially stable. The new responsibilities also stress their relations with peers, which can lead to the break-up of relationships. This unrealistic expectation makes them to withdraw from their extracurricular activities and the social world so that they can keep up. In the end, this puts a lot of pressure in their lives and makes them a stressed lot.Effects of StressOne of the vital issues surrounding stress is how it affects the student's ability to learn. Many students can assess stressful events as a "challenge" or "threat." If they evaluate their college education as a threat, then they are likely to feel helpless and lost. If they evaluate it as a challenge, then they this increases their learning capacity. Moderate stress is the best for students who are learning. Low and high levels of stress drastically reduces the learning ability of a college student (Weinstein, 2004). Students who are experiencing stress tend to be "hyper careful." They will work so hard to get good results and in the end over study and fail. Those who find exams a stress will do an exam quickly so that they can get rid of the stress.High levels of stress among college students have led to an increase of student dropout rates. Students feel that they cannot cope with all the stressing activities and opt out. The physical and emotional health of students is usually at risk (Hudd, 2000). This is due to overworking to meet deadlines and meeting financial obligations.Moderate stress can make students learn. Stress among college students can be reduced only if students are left to control their education system rather than the system controlling them. They should be given proper feedback on their performance to avoid the build-up of stress. Peer counseling, formation of support groups for students and mentoring can help students to cope with their own emotions and thoughts. This can help students in being successful in education, social and financial fields. Students should be taught well and encouraged so that they can feel motivated, and comprehended. Academicians and educational researchers should get a curriculum that stresses the importance of physical activity and socialization. It is wise to note that lecturers and teachers should be paid well so that they can teach well (Neal, 1985).
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