As college students, we are all prone to the very stressful life of a student- managing a full course load, possibly working to pay for the increasingly expensive tuition, and, hopefully, enjoying a social life. According to a recent survey highlighted by the video:
students are facing more stress now than ever. So how do we, those stressed out students, deal with this stress? According to Lilienfeld in, we can cope with stress by having social support and by gaining control and being flexible to adjust coping strategies and accounting for individual differences is important.
"Social support encompasses interpersonal relations with people, groups, and the larger community," according to Lilienfeld (470). This could come in multiple forms such as a friend providing us emotional support, a parent providing us with financial support, or a school adviser providing us with information.
We can gain control of situations to cope, and hopefully alleviate, stress. According to Lilienfeld there are five types of control: behavioral control (doing something to reduce the cause of the stress), cognitive control (to think differently about stresses), decision control (choose an alternative), informational control (learn more about the stress), and emotional control (suppress and express emotions). All these types of control can be used singly or in conjunction together.
We must also keep in mind that we should be flexible in our coping, or as put by Lilienfeld, "adjust coping strategies as the situation demands" (472). Also, always remember that everyone is different and therefore stress affects us all differently.
I will use some of my own life as an example of the stress I have dealt with this past semester and how I cope with that stress. As highlighted in the video by Dr. Jason Pina, students have pressures to do well and go to college even though, for the first time, we are facing not being as successful as our parents. I certainly share these stresses coming from parents who did reasonably well in high school and went to college and have been very successful in their careers. When I look at the job prospects after graduation, I see that I, a student who has done extremely well in high school and thus far in college, will have to work considerably harder to be as successful as my parents. To deal with this stress and not become overwhelmed, I have gotten social support from my college adviser in how to do well in school and also support from CAPE at the University on what to do after graduation and promising job prospects. I have also found that gaining control of the situation has helped. I used two types of control together to help; cognitive control, by thinking only positively about my future, and informational control by discovering a minor that could lead to multiple back up plans.
So now I ask you: How do you cope with stress? Do you find yourself using any of the above suggestions?