University Campus is a Pressure Cooker?
Many students look forward to college life, thinking that 4 years can be a breeze loaded with parties and drinking. But is this the reality? Surveys have shown that college students suffer from huge pressure and anxiety; some even experience insomnia and chronic fatigue. A recent college health assessment report * indicates that over 87.7% of students in the past year feel overwhelmed; 44.7% of students find the curriculum too challenging; more than half feel enormous pressure and close to 30% of students believe their mental health condition affect their academic achievement.
*The Spring 2013 edition of National College Health Assessment Undergraduate Summary by American College Health Association.
What are the worries of college students?
The seemingly carefree campus life turns out to be a pressure cooker. College students have many things on their minds:
- They are suddenly on their own and have to make decision for themselves. It is like they have to grow up overnight without warning.
- They are fearful that a wrong decision on the choice of classes may affect their future career development.
- They are afraid that their parents would be disappointed if their academic results are not up to expectation.
- They found college life, especially the first year, hard to adjust.
- There is little time to accommodate so many extracurricular activities. They are overwhelmed and do not know how to make the right choice.
- It is difficult to give up privacy and share a small room with a complete stranger.
In other words, college students are worried about academic performance, social life and time management.
Burning the midnight oil is the norm?
College life emphasises on self-discipline. Sometimes you just get one class or two. Sometime, you do not even have any classes. Homework can be due in a few weeks or in few months. It misleads students to think that there is ample time available before deadlines. If you wait till the last minute to start working on the homework, you will find yourself in an impossible situation to beat the deadline. The most important thing is planning. You need to figure out your own timetable: how much time is needed to do research on the topic; how much time to organize information and when to start writing. A good plan helps you stay on top of the progress of your work. If you follow your plan, you will be able to submit the homework on time. It can be hard to turn down an invitation to a party, just to stay back to finish your work on schedule, but you must learn to resist temptation with determination. After all, school work should always come first.
I am stuck. I can’t remember a thing!
Examination is a week away, but you have not even started to study, how can you expect to achieve good results? You need to devise a study plan. For example, every evening, you will go over the materials of the day and you will spend time preparing for the next lesson. Once a month, you will revisit the key concepts and the challenging parts of the classes. Once you set your time table, try your best to stick with it, even it will mean cancelling dinner plan with your friends.
I need 48 hours a day!
Campus life is packed with activities: academic, cultural, religious, recreational and special interest. All the clubs and societies sound interesting and exciting. Many students join more than a few to explore different aspect of campus life. Soon, many find their schedule conflicted with different meetings and cannot afford the time to attend all the activities. Before joining a club, you should seriously consider how interested you really are in them and try to understand their meeting schedule and the expected involvement. Make a wise choice according to your interest and the time you can afford. Do not add unnecessary pressure to your already-stressful study schedule.
While college students enjoy their new-found freedom, there are moments that they are home-sick too. Back at homes, your parents attended to every detail of your needs. Now suddenly, you have to take care of yourself. At times, you may find yourself quite helpless. This is especially so for oversea students who have to face increased challenge as a result of cultural differences and language barrier. You should always keep connected with your family. If you do not want to share every single detail of your life with them, you can just send them a video clip or a few pictures here and there. Drop them a few lines so that they know what you are up to and how you are doing. Share your feeling with them and you will feel more supported.
My roommate is too messy!
One of key sources of stress for college students may come from their roommates. You can try breaking the ice by introducing yourself through email or Facebook before moving in. Get to know each other’s preferences and habits can make an easier start. Remember everyone comes from different background. If your roommate is totally different types of people from you, think positively and see it as an opportunity to learn from each other. If you really cannot stand the person, you need to bring the issues up early and seek ways to resolve them. A good relationship is always built on respect and positive attitude. If you two can tag along, your roommate can become your life-long friend.
Too many parties!
Partying in itself is not a problem. If the purpose of a party is to allow everybody to relax, it is a really fun thing to do. But do it in moderation. Do not let all these parties affect your study plan, or hurt your concentration at school. Alcohol and drug can find their ways into many campus parties and you need to be cautious of the parties you go to. Stick to your own principle and only attend those parties that you know. Do not give in because of peers’ pressure. Party is not the only way to make new friends. Good friends will not be mad with you just because you skip a party.
How to calm anxiety?
Everyone has anxiety. People deal with it in their own unique ways. Some people find music soothing; some people find it helpful sharing it with friends; and some people choose to dance, run or play a game of tennis. You need to find yourself a way that suits you. If you feel depressed with no way out, you should not hide your emotions. Most schools offer free counselling services. Counsellors will patiently listen to your problems and help you out of the dark end.
The main source of anxiety for a college students are the studying and examination. If you cannot avoid burning the midnight oil; at least try to stay away from the caffeinated drinks. While coffee can keep you awake, your mind is affected by the stimulants and is not functioning at its best. You can try BRAND'S ® Essence of Chicken Drink, which is backed by 38 pieces of scientific studies and proven to help eliminate fatigue and improve mental concentration. Drink one bottle of BRAND'S ® Essence of Chicken Drink 30 minutes before entering the examination hall can also help keep a clear head and boost mental energy.
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