By Kelsey Dunn – Contributing Writer
The time has come when UMF students experience stress due to crunched and overlapped deadlines, mountains of homework and hours that seem to just zoom past. Stress can be overwhelming at times and make us want to just scream and give up, but we can’t. Are there ways to relieve stress?
Some UMF students have reported their ways to relieve their stress. Benjamin Cloutier, a junior at UMF, has to juggle his academics with his two jobs.
“I am usually stressed roughly six days a week. Saturdays are what I like to call my stress day off” said Cloutier. “When I become stressed, I go outside and try to take my mind off things.”
Like Cloutier, Elina Shapiro, a UMF senior, also enjoys being outside. Shapiro has a lot on her plate this year between her internship, planning for life after graduation, academics and a social life.
“I play the banjo for an instant stress relief. I also exercise and watch comedy shows” said Shapiro.
Dr. Natasha Lekes, an Associate Professor of Psychology, revealed that “students coming to college should expect to experience stress.” Dr. Lekes noticed that many students at UMF work long hours in addition to maintaining a full-time course load. Due to all the responsibilities that students have to endure, it is natural for them to feel overwhelmed. Dr. Lekes noted that many people turn to exercise, meditation, laughing or playing when stressed. She also said that students should seek help when needed.
“Students often wait to seek help and yet there are many people willing and wanting to provide it at UMF, [such as] advisors, mental health counselors, professors and career counselors,” said Dr. Lekes.
Tessa Walsh, a junior at UMF, experiences social anxiety, which along with her schoolwork, triggers her stress. “I get stressed roughly four to five days a week. When I do get stressed, I listen to music, watch TV or I simply switch to a new activity to get my mind off things” said Walsh.
Students are not the only ones who experience stress on campus. “We need stress in our lives!” said Dr. Lekes, who also experiences stress in her daily life.
“You will likely find that the things that make your life worth living also cause you stress,” Dr. Lekes explained. “For me, that’s being a parent, a professor, a wife, a friend. Yet, I wouldn’t want to change my work or family life. Students may find that their relationships, their area of study, their work and being involved in sports brings meaning to their lives, and yet these activities likely also bring stress into their lives,” said Dr. Lekes.
To view UMF’s counseling page go to the following link: http://www2.umf.maine.edu/counseling/