Classic Signals: Stress takes toll on student health

Every week, Features Editor Lily Firth hits the archives and finds old Signals that relate to current College topics and top stories.

For college students, stress comes in many forms — from pressure to earn good grades, struggling to manage time or even finding time to socialize. Stress can be detrimental to students’ health, as it leads to irregular sleep and meal schedules that take a toll on our bodies. In 1989, the College was concerned with the stress placed on students, and tried to implement solutions to help students cope with their busy schedules.

Students have trouble balancing their overpacked schedules. (Photo courtesy of TCNJ archive)

Stress plays a major role in the life of students. Taking exams, money, competition and the next meal are only a few of the problems students face.

Stress is an unavoidable part of life. Stress can range from a mild traffic jam, to taking an exam, to a family argument, to the death of a loved one.

According to Rose Marie Fassbender, Director of Health Center on campus, some stress-related symptoms include upset stomach, diarrhea, anxiety, either increased or loss of appetite, high blood pressure, and hives or other skin problems. Stress can lead to the deterioration of one’s health.

Usually around mid-term and final exam week, students become extremely “stressed-out.”

Larry Gage, a counselor at the Psychological Counseling Services, says that the stress-related problems on campus include test anxiety, procrastination caused work “pile-up” at the end of a semester and relationships with family members. Fassbender says that a lack of sleep and pledging are also causes of stress-related problems on campus.

When students come to Gage he says, “often things appear worse than they really are, but when people leave, they usually feel relieved just because they did something about their problem.”

According to the pamphlet “About College and Stress,” the word “stress” comes from a latin word meaning “to draw tight.” When there’s no outlet for this feeling of “tightness,” stress can be harmful. Now students face more stress at Trenton State than in the past. Because of the strict retention standards, students know that they must keep their GPA as high as possible.

A well-balanced life can help both to prevent stress and to alleviate stress that cannot be prevented. This might include alternating physical activity with mental activity, limiting alcohol consumption, eliminating smoking, sharing emotional feeling with others and having a variety of hobbies or other interests outside work or school.

Students will be at their peak of stress around mid-term and final exam week.

There are many clubs and activities that students can take part in on campus to help relieve the pressure from school work and problems in general.