Many college students find themselves figuring out how to manage stress on campus and we’re here to help guide you through it.
Stress is a normal part of life for most people, but college students are often faced with managing stress at higher levels for the first time or in different ways. Transition.org is a helpful tool for new and first-year students, but also has resources relevant to all college-aged students.
Types of Stress Responses
Stress can take many forms for us. Sometimes it can help us to strive towards a goal, other times it can prevent us from performing the way we would like to.
|Positive||A normal and essential part of healthy development.||Getting a vaccine, first day of classes.|
|Tolerable||Responding to more serious stressors, limited in duration.||Loss of a loved one, a broken bone.|
|Toxic||Experiencing strong, frequent, and/or prolonged adversity.||Physical or emotional abuse, exposure to violence.|
Sometimes called eustress, “positive” stress is important to us as individuals and as a community because it drives us to learn, perform at our best, and be change-makers in our world. Eustress gives us a sense of purpose when we wake up in the morning to get to class, hike a mountain, or check in with a friend.
Chronic stress, or stress that occurs with high levels of frequency and intensity, even if it is eustress, tire our bodies and minds. When we are stressed at high levels over long periods of time we have little time to relax and recover in order to feel prepared to meet the next wave of stress that might be coming. Situations like a number of projects all due on the same date, loneliness, a high-pressure job or responsibility on campus, or a stressful relationship with a friend, family member, or partner can all cause chronic stress. Chronic stress can weaken our immune systems, heighten anxiety, and interfere with sleep and appetite.