You are a newly appointed counsellor at a University and you have been given the responsibility of providing a report on the stresses of being a student. Your answer, based on the content of the course, should include: a) The sources of student stress; b) The possible effects of student stress; c) Individual coping strategies; d) Possible institutional interventions that might make the student’s role a happy one! You should make reference to relevant literature.
Course: BA (Honours) Psychology
Module Title: Health Psychology
Module Code: PSY383
Lecturer’s Name: Dr. Garry Prentice
Date Assignment given out: 30th September 2010
Latest date for Submission: 26th November 2010
Within this essay I hope to report on the stress levels that students have to deal with. I will discuss the reasons why students find themselves under these levels of stress and what effects stress can have on a student both mentally and physically. I shall also discuss possible methods which would aid and assist a student who finds themselves under stress and possible ways to elevate the stress and assist the student in feeling more relaxed and dealing with any pressure they might find themselves having to deal with.
Stress is a physical response to events that can make a person feel threatened or even upset your balance in some way. When you perceive a threat to yourself, your body and nervous system responds to this threat by releasing stress hormones. Your heart begins to beat a lot faster, your blood pressure tends to rise and your muscles can at times even begin to tighten.
Everybody will at some stage of their life experience stress of some level. You might feel under pressure, worried, upset, tense or a general feeling of just being uncomfortable with life at any particular moment. As a student there are numerous reasons why one would feel under a lot of stress. Pressure of exams is usually a major factor of stress for a student but also there are factors such as being bullied, maybe a poor relationship with certain lecturer’s or even academic work piling up to such an extent the student feels that they simply cannot deal with the pressure.
Financial worries can also be a factor of stress for a student. For example, a student who has just commenced a course in University, not alone is the thought of the excess levels of study and making academic deadlines a source of stress but also when you include on top of these issues the possibility of paying for fees which could very well amount to a few thousand euro a student has then an enormous amount of stress placed upon them straight away.
Stress can have quite serious effects on a student who feels they are losing control of any particular situation or if they feel that things have gone too far for them to cope with. These effects could even be as serious as a student contemplating taking their own life if they feel things are gone beyond their grasp and there is no way back or they feel there is no glimmer of hope for them, ‘In the 1930’s suicide was the second leading cause of death among college students’, Blumental and Kupfer (1990, p.216).
Stress among students can also lead to bouts of depression which is also a quite serious to have to deal with. With the effects of stress being so bad that the student cannot cope this can ultimately break them down and as a result depression could possibly develop as a result of the stress being too much to deal with, ‘During the academic year, many college students suffer some symptoms of depression which can exert a toll on academic performance’, Coon and Mitterer (2008, p. 444).
Effects of variations in student workload, student schedules, student decision-making in University environments should all be examined and looked at in relation to how a student is possible effected by stress. Not surprisingly, the workload of a student at University is significantly more...
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