Impact of Stress on Student Health
The impact of stress on students who attend college or universtiy has a tangible negative effect
on both physical health, and mental health. Many healthy habits from living at home (such as eating
well) become obsolete, and students face a lot more deadlines as well as new responsibilities when
they move away from home to go to school. Addition of stressors to a persons life not only has an
effect on physical health, but it can change the way we behave and feel. Stress affects people on a
physical and mental level, and it is important that we acknowledge the overwhelming nature of stress
so we can properly take care of ourselves.
Stress is able to have an effect on physical health because stress keeps your body in a
perpetual state of fight-or-flight by producing cortisol, which is a hormone produced by the body to
respond to stress. Cortisol is useful in fight-or-flight situations because: it heightens memory
functions, lowers sensitivity to pain, and allows for a quick burst of energy. Elizabeth Scott, in her
article Cortisol and Stress: How to Stay Healthy, states that “While cortisol is an important and helpful
part of the body’s response to stress, it’s important that the body’s relaxation response be activated
so the body’s functions can return to normal following a stressful event (Scott, 2011).” The problem
with constant elevated levels of cortisol is that it “can weaken the activity of the immune system by
preventing proliferation of T-cells (Kennedy, 2012).”
Mental health is also effected by stress in students. The demand for work output increases
heavily when multiple classes begin scheduling projects and tests at the same time which often makes
everyone on campus feel overwhelmed. Ultimately, stress causes unnecessary frustration and tension
in the body which makes it more difficult to learn. According to an article on dealing with...
Cited: Kennedy, Ron. “Cortisol (Hydrocortisone)”. The Doctors ' Medical Library. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
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Nordqvist, Christian. "What Is Stress? How To Deal With Stress." Medical News Today. MediLexicon
International, 11 Apr. 2009. Web. 20 Nov. 2012.
Scott, Elizabeth. "Cortisol and Stress: How to Stay Healthy." About.com Stress Management.
About.com, 22 Sept. 2011. Web. 19 Nov. 2012.
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