Stress In College Students

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Stress is an inherent part of life, particularly in the lives of college students. Generally recognized for its detrimental effects on us, this backward thinking can be attributed to the initial studies on stress. Over time, research on stress has proven fruitful, as we now know that stress may plausibly have positive effects and beneficial applications to academics. In fact, more recent studies have shown that stress follows a curvilinear relationship with performance (Westman & Eden, 2007). As such, we are now aware that optimal levels of stress can enhance learning abilities but continual stress hinders normal bodily functions by weakening the immune system (Aldwin & Greenberger, 1987). However, the underlying factor that ultimately determines…show more content…
According to a study by Ross, Neibling and Heckert (1999), housing arrangements and changes in lifestyle contribute to stress experienced by college students. When students transition from high school to college, they are expected to be more independent and it is not uncommon for them to live on their own. This leads to significant alterations in their daily routine, as they have to handle chores, transportation and food all by themselves. Having to undertake such heavy newfound responsibilities, college students will feel suffocated and stressed. In turn, these students may resort to drastic measures such as dropping out of school, wishing to distance themselves from the source of stress – the environment (Falk, 1975; Hirsch & Keniston, 1970). Therefore, stress from living environment adjustments is detrimental to college students’ academic success as it is a contributing factor to the number of college…show more content…
Phinney and Haas (2003) reported that one of the stressors experienced by first generation college freshmen is the heavy academic load. Students may be intimidated by the sudden increase in demand of quality and quantity of work. Fortunately, we know that academic stressors include the students’ perception of the extensive knowledge base required and the perception of an inadequate time to develop it (Carveth, Geese & Moss, 1996). Though the stress of a greater academic load may initially be more detrimental than beneficial, it may prove to be otherwise in the long term. Students grow more accustomed to college demands over time, developing their knowledge of college studies and proficiency in completing assignments. As a result, this stressor will induce lower levels of stress in students than before. With stress values closer to optimal levels, stress will be accepted as less of a threat and more of a motivation in their studies. Ultimately, in the long term, the stress of having a heavy academic load is a positive impact on the academic success of college students as it serves as a motivation in their

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