Oiler advice: College stress is real but manageable

By: Krissy Johnson



A first in the Oiler advice series: University of Findlay faculty and students discuss tips for managing stress in college

With college comes stress, but the University of Findlay faculty and students recommend a wide variety of unique activities and tips to manage it well. As the semester progresses, students are finally starting to feel the stress of the semester building.

“What brings me the most stress is when there’s a lot of homework or assignments to do and there’s strict deadlines that you have to meet but there’s other obligations you know that you have,” said Jacob Brown, junior social studies education major. Homework and strict deadlines are two of many reasons students start to feel stressed as the semester progresses. 

Hughes-Ksenich. Photo: University of Findlay.

Courtney Hughes-Ksenich, Clinical Mental Health Counselor at the UF Counseling Center, explains when students hit their stress peak.

“Students are usually the most stressed right before breaks just because they really need that break to recover,” Hughes-Ksenich said. “So we usually see an increase in students before breaks and not really after them because they’ve had time to rest.” 

“Sometimes the fall semester can be more stressful with incoming freshmen not having experience with college or never really having been away from home before. Later, we see less freshmen in the spring because they’ve kind of got their footing and know what they’re doing essentially. So I’d definitely say the fall is a little more stressful.”

Hughes-Ksenich also offers some helpful tips for students to destress as the workload of the semester continues to build. 

“Well, a simple one. Come to counseling!” Hughes-Ksenich said. “Also definitely practice self-care. It’s definitely a good preventative type of thing to stop yourself from being burnt out or getting to the point of high stress.”

Hughes-Ksenich goes on to give examples of self-care such as scrolling through TikTok for a couple of minutes in between classes, practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga, and spending time with friends.

Brown agrees that confiding in friends is a great way to deal with stress. He says friends are a great resource, because they can relate to what he’s feeling. 

Kaitlyn Adamic, freshman biology major and Mackenzi Thompson, freshman early childhood education major, each have their own favorite self-care pastime. 

“My favorite self-care activity is listening to music because it helps calm me down and feel less alone,” Adamic said. Thompson agreed and added that she also likes to journal or doodle.

“I either listen to music, because that’s a good stress reliever for me, or I get involved in different activities I like to do,” said Brown. “I also like to go running, work out, and when it’s not snowing I really like going out and hiking because it’s comforting.” 

There are also various classes on campus that could help provide stress relief such as “Self Defense and Stress Management” and various art and performance classes, such as ceramics, theatre, band, or choir. “Self Defense and Stress Management” is a three-credit hour class, offered in both the fall and spring, with the class code of CJUS111. The art and performance classes can also be taken for credit and some even offer scholarships.

Hughes-Ksenich adds that for academic stress, good resources are professors, advisors, and the Academic Success Center, but for stress related to things at home or anxiety, the Counseling Center is a great option to make sure that you are taking care of yourself.  

Hughes-Ksenich says if a student is thinking about scheduling a meeting with the UF Counseling Center you can fill out a form, on its website or Instagram page, and once they receive it, the administrative assistant will contact you to set up an appointment. Other options are calling their office or walking in to schedule an appointment. The Counseling Center is located at 303 Frazer St. on campus, right across the street from the parking lot behind Egner.

Students can also be on the lookout for future Counseling Center sponsored campus events. There will be an event in April, “Chalk About It,” to raise mental health awareness.

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