A reflection on the effects of stress

Vasco Sanders, Contributing Writer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.— Schoolwork, chores, dating dramas, fights with friends, and more. So many things can stress you out. But what exactly is stress, and how can you handle it?

Stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. You can experience stress from your environment, your body, and your thoughts.

Research by The American Institute of Stress shows that 1 out 5 students claim to be stressed.

Stacy King, a counselor at JU for 5 years, speaks on the stress level surrounding the JU campus.

“Nine times out of ten, students come here because they are stressed,” says King. “Maybe it’s because they are overwhelmed with the adjustment from high school to college or coming out of a different state or city. They are away from family and friends, and now they are in this new environment and have to learn to be a different way.”

Stress affects us all and there are many signs to tell if you are being affected. Stress can affect all aspects of your life, including your emotions, behaviors, thinking ability, and physical health. However, the most common signs are headaches, energy loss, and depression.

Janna Gaskins, a JU student, tells what dealing with stress is like for her.

“It’s a lot, especially with being in school,” says Gaskins. “I try to calm myself and not worry, but I can’t seem to win. I even have to consult with my friends and family so they keep me motivated. Being stressed just drains me and makes it harder for me to relax.”  

“It feels as though the weight of the world is on my shoulders,” says Tenesha Green, a JU student. “Because sometimes, you don’t know where to turn to when you need help. It would be nice to see stress reliever activities or spots on campus advertised more. That way me and maybe others could find a way to escape.”

While dealing with stress is something no one wants to do, there are plenty of ways to handle it.

“Generally, I would say first watch your caffeine intake,” says King. “After seeing how that affected you, try meditating with white noise in the background such as rain sounds, thunderstorms, or ocean waves. If those options do not work. I would advise talking to someone you trust or coming here to the counseling center.”

King also states why he and the counseling staff are happy to be the outlet some students need.

“The Student Counseling Center is committed to the development of the whole person: academically, personally, socially, and ethically. We believe that a student’s intellectual and personal development are inseparable, and we are here to help students reach his or her potential as individuals, both academically and personally.”