Anxiety, stress are unnecessary in college environment

As soon as we walk on campus, we are immediately surrounded by the fast-paced, never-silent culture of college. The noise, the parties, the events, the people: College is like jumping head first into a game of Monopoly. So many goals of the game, yet so many distractions, and you eventually have to pass go and hope you don’t go to jail.

Almost immediately upon return from break, the tension of stress is felt throughout the halls. We have just completed the second week of class and already there is an anxious buzz about classes and homework.

I would even go so far as to say that college is the epitome of a stressful environment. And while not everyone is running around like a squirrel gathering nuts, trying to get everything in his or her life to fit into 24 hours, there is pressure to succeed through being busy.

Now, the idea of stress is usually beneficial. I mean, that’s what parents do in middle school, right? Make their children do all sorts of activities so they won’t have time to be rebellious?

And the stress of total, all-out engagement cannot only occupy time, but it can also motivate an individual to pursue great goals. This is terrific. This is what college is for, right? To make individuals grow and handle situations as adults?

In all honesty, does this continual stress truly benefit us? All it really does is make your shoulders tense and cause anxiety.

We need to take a time out and really look at what this environment does to us. As time moves ahead, I look around and see that so many of us are consumed by this stress. All over campus there is a constant vibe of living in this unending pressure tube. And I ask, why? Why does college have this connotation?

While I personally know that having five classes and additional clubs and commitments increases the temptation to allow myself to become stressed, I just cannot allow this to happen.

Living four years of your life in constant stress isn’t what college is about. We need to come to terms with this addiction. College doesn’t have to be so insanely busy. While it is an atmosphere that encourages rapid growth and adventures, it does not require you to be consumed by stress.

This dependency on such an emotion can be fixed. Just as positive attitudes breed positivity, stress breeds stress.

And the solution is simple. Breathe — one of the best tokens of advice I have ever received. Instead of panicking when you have a paper due tomorrow morning, take it slow, one step at a time and … breathe … and know it will turn out all right.

Because honestly, as cheesy as it sounds, in the end, it all works out.

Katie Pitchford/Photo editor
Katie Pitchford can be reached at

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