Monday, October 31, 2011

Stress is in My Control

By Zachary Collins

Stress, the one little word used so much in a college student’s vocabulary. And in the major of architecture, it’s magnified by a 1000. Add on top of that a job, or 2, projects and homework, you might as well sit back and let the stress bombs explode into your mental and physical beings!

I can honestly say being in graduate school has by far been the hardest of my college years. We are over half way done with the semester and I have been consistently stressed. Some weeks are worse than others, but still, the stress remains. In an effort to help my fellow architecture students, I am going to provide some self-help tips for relieving some of the stress that studio and other classes bring to our demanding lives. I try to do most of these things on a regular basis, but sometimes, duty calls, and all I have time for is working on projects. Following are the top 5 stress relievers for college students from

1 - “Working Out – Physical activity is a great stress reliever. It’s healthy, and doesn’t have to be terribly time consuming in order to be effective. If you are stressed, I’d suggest simply getting out of your dorm room and having a nice work out.”
-This obviously is probably not one of our favorites, but still, I try to do about 4-5 hours of work outs per week. And honestly, I can say I always feel better after doing so.

2 - “Sleep, Sleep. Sleep - Sleep deprivation is like an epidemic on college campuses. Students stay up way too late, and get up way too early. Instead of partying on a Friday, why not take one day off and get some extra Zs? Stress can be relieved by forcing one’s self to maintain a regular sleep schedule.”
-I for one have changed a lot in this area. I used to party or go to the bars during the week and on weekends, and get very minimal sleep. But with my schedule now, I have learned that certain things are more important. I try to get 6-8 hours of sleep every night and my partying days have been limited to mainly Friday night and sometimes I don’t even get that. So needless to say, my priorities have changed since my undergrad years.

3 - “Listen to Music - Take a few minutes out of the day to lie down and listen to your favorite music (even if people wouldn’t consider it calming music). Music has an effect on a variety of areas in the brain and can be quite relaxing. Not to mention, it’s a nice way to spend a study break. If you are feeling stressed by your roommate, just go for a walk and put some music on. I bet you’ll feel a lot better afterwards.

-This sums it up very well. I listen to music every day, whether it’s at school, work, home, driving in the jeep, etc. There is a “relaxing” feeling when listening to music. And for me, it focuses me when working on a project.

4 - “Eat right - Taking the time to cook yourself something healthy, or find a healthy place to eat on campus can do worlds for your body. Don’t skip meals either. There’s nothing more stressful than being tired, and hungry. Make time for breakfast before your morning class. Eating right will certainly help to reduce your stress in the long run.”
-This tip was one of the hardest for me, because I love junk food way too much. But it did take months to get my diet to a much better standard than what it once was. Now occasionally I will indulge on my most desired and delectable foods, but for the most part, I cook my own meals and I eat much healthier foods.

5 - “Management - If you simply manage them both, it won’t be as stressful. For time, make use of date books, calendars, planners, and anything else you need. Don’t over-stretch yourself and make room for relaxing time, eating, and sleeping. For finances, management is also a key component. If you have a credit card, don’t buy something unless you can afford to pay it off. Also, if you don’t need it, don’t get it. Too many people get credit cards and see a fountain of wealth. You can be proactive and take control of reducing your stress.”

-This was a huge eye-opener for me. My time management was horrible in undergrad, hence the many all-nighters. I have had to really do some time management this semester with my busy schedule, and I feel like I’m doing an okay job. For my finances, I was the exact person they talk about above where the person sees the credit card as a “fountain of wealth”. Believe me, it’s no fountain, and no wealth comes with it, just debt. I have finally gotten my finances under control and it feels so good to know that I will never be put in the situation I was in with my credit card. It was a lesson learned for me.

So, I hope these tips and my small testimonials will help with my friends in the architecture program along with prospective graduate students. The bottom line is managing your time, tasks, and needs. Do not let stress get the better of you!


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