Professionals offer stress-coping tips

By Farheen Dayala

Midterms. Papers. Group projects. Family. Friends.
Work.

Experts agree these factors lead to the stress students deal
with on a daily basis. Though stress may be a typical part of
college life, experts agree that it is detrimental to academic
performance and overall health.

According to the book “Stress Management for Healthy Living,”
written by Kristine Fish, associate professor of the kinesiology
and health promotion department at Cal Poly Pomona, stress is: “Any
outside force or event that has an effect on our body or mind.”

In the chapter titled “Stress and Disease,” Fish states that
when most people think of improving their health, diet and exercise
are considered more important than managing stress. The author
explains that because stress can negatively affect health, managing
it should be considered just as vital as physical health.

Stress has more than mental effects ” it can also affect the
body.

“There is literature that suggests that there are health effects
of stress on the body,” said Erika DeJonghe, assistant professor in
the psychology and sociology department at Cal Poly Pomona.
“Repeated, intense and chronic stress is going to be more likely to
cause the person to be more vulnerable to particular types of
infections, cardiovascular disease, and even certain types of
cancer.”

The way students manage their time dealing with stress plays a
big role in their health and performance, said DeJonghe.

“Students tend to push themselves past the point of what is
reasonable, they’ll come to school with the flu, and they pull
all-nighters even when they’re sick,” said DeJonghe. “The thing I
most commonly see is students falling apart physically and people
[becoming] emotionally intense when they are under stress.”

Scheduling is also an important part of excelling in class;
shorter and more consistent study sessions help students retain
more information for tests rather than long periods of studying,
said DeJonghe.

“One thing students tend to do that’s really inefficient is when
they binge on studying,” said DeJonghe. “When midterms come,
students cancel everything in their lives and study for a 10-hour
stretch and it turns out that’s actually the most inefficient way
to study.”

Chase Charifa, a third-year civil engineering student said
planning ahead helped him feel well rested and better prepared for
his midterms.

“I was stressed and was losing a lot of sleep,” said Charifa. “I
made a conscious effort to get rest.”

April Kuth, a fourth-year biology student, uses her peers as a
resource to reduce stress and long periods of studying.

“I pulled one all-nighter during midterms and that didn’t go so
well,” said Kuth. “[Study] groups and friends helped a lot. When I
was able to explain things to other people and had them explain
things to me, it retained in my memory a lot better than just
reading notes.”

Aside from better planning, DeJonge said using resources on
campus may also be helpful for students dealing with stress.

“Some students don’t realize it, but we have a ton of resources
on campus such as Student Health Services and Counseling and
Psychological Services, to make students feel better,” said
DeJonghe. “If you feel yourself getting stressed out, go talk to an
advisor, a counselor or doctor because it doesn’t have to be that
way.”

Professionals offer stress-coping tips

Photo Illustration by Daniel Nguyen / The Poly Post

Professionals offer stress-coping tips

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