School overload takes toll on students


ULM Hawkeye

In a recent study done on college students, about 75 to 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related complaints or disorders.

Correlating with that percentage is the fact that freshmen have the highest stress level when attending school.

Stress can lead to potentially life-threatening problems such as heart attacks, strokes, depression, head aches and pains.

Stress can become normal for the college student, which seems to be part of the territory of getting an education.

It can spring upon students at any time in their college career, whether it is the first day of school, mid-terms, finals orthose last classes that determine graduating or not.

“Last semester my professors were not at all considerate,” said senior Grace Reynolds, a Pre-Pharmacy major from Shreveport.

“I felt like I had finals week once a month,” Reynolds said.

The United States Census shows 6-in-10 high school seniors head off to college, but just 29 percent of college students over the age of 25 had a bachelors degree.

Only about 50 percent of peole who start college actually finish.

Amanda Carter, a freshman criminal justice major from Houston, dislikes finals week.

“They [professors] don’t consider the fact that I’m a non-traditional student and I have kids,” Carter said.

The consequences of stress can be harmful both physically and emotionally.

Some consequences include grades starting to slip, the loss or increase of appetite and extreme cases of anxiety and depression.

Much of the stress a student experiences is self-induced.

Those who have just left home and are now experiencing more freedom may have trouble managing time, just to show an example.

The number one stresser for students is when students start cramming. It becomes an art as students try to accomplish too many things too late.

Others may have a job or two in order to make ends meet.

Other students have the opposite problem. They engage in the social life college has to offer.

James Pettit, an English professor at ULM said he tries to accomodate h,is students any way he can.

“I believe in the English department we [professors] strive very hard to be considerate,” Pettit said.

“A lot of the work that we do, can be done in the classroom and if there is an assignment to take home we give them plenty of time to complete it,” he continued.

The number of college students who feel overloaded is still growing.

A 2009 spring poll of more than 2,200 students reported that 85 percent of students feel stress on the daily basis.

Finding ways to alleviate stress, like working out or not putting things off to the last minute is a sure fire way to cut stress down. Also, if feeling overloaded, talk to a counselor or a good friend.