While there are many insightful topics from this semester, I think the one that will be most prevalent in the next five years will be the identification and coping with stress. Our school environment has become one that is almost entirely based on performance whether that is scoring high on standardized tests in middle school to get placed in "honors" classes, getting a good score on the ACT/SAT a large criteria for admission, or while in college competing against the curve to get good grades to land a job or get into professional/graduate school. This constant bombardment of having to beat out your peers in order to get a good grade, is no wonder that students especially freshman have extremely high levels of stress often leading to physical, mental and emotional problems. According to a 2001 Student Health Assessment Survey, 10.5% of University of Minnesota students reported experiencing three or more stressors in the past 12 months ( one of the most common being failing a class), 28% feel sad or depressed at least once per week and 43.2% of students feel worried, anxious, and nervous at least once a week. These numbers are astonishing when converted to real numbers (multiply them by 50,000). While stress is an adapted survival response to stressors it has become overly exhibited in our performance based society and learning about the topic in class will be helpful when confronted with stressors in the future.
Some helpful links for dealing with stress: