SCSU Residence Halls Closing May 17Southern Connecticut State University
by Michelle Lawler, SCSU Counselor
All of us experience stress in our lives. Good stress (eustress) can be a positive influencer in helping us to feel motivated, achieve our goals and perform at our best. But negative stress exists when pressures become too intense and overwhelming — impacting our overall well-being — and when we neglect healthy lifestyle choices and good self-care.
Most students suffer a rise in stress levels especially this time of the academic year, when mid-term exam grades are in and students are busily working on their end-of-semester writing assignments and preparing for final exams. With the holidays quickly approaching, many students also have the added pressure of worrying about jobs and finances during the semester break. Learning stress management techniques is a proven way for students to navigate through pressures, tensions and anxieties and maintain good emotional and physical health.
Poor stress management is a leading impediment to academic success. Research also shows that students’ ability to stay in school and perform at their best is closely linked to their emotional well-being.
Talk to your students about being realistic about their time commitments and not overextending themselves with extra-curricular activities when there are academic priorities.
Advise your students to seek support through the various resource offices on campus that can help with stress management, and remind them that it is a sign of strength to seek help from professional supports if they are having a difficult time managing on their own.
Be an active listener. Try to become aware of the difference between everyday stress and harmful anxiety. Recognize warning signs and share this information with your family members. Above all, be patient if your student does not seek help right away, and don’t be afraid to reach out to members of the campus community for help. The Student Affairs professionals are here for them, and we are trained, ready and eager to help!
Some useful tips on how to start conversations with your student can be found here.
Also, here is a good mental health resource to share with your college student.