Students should use resources to manage stress

March 5, 2014

Editorial Staff Opinion

In a recent study, the American Psychological Association found the most stressed age group was young adults ages 18 to 33.
Stressors like grades, graduation, the state of the job market and balancing it all with a social life can cause a harmful amount of anxiety. Young adults have good reason to be stressed out.
The most troublesome part of the study was 49 percent of young adults said they are not handling their stress correctly.
Luckily for UW-Whitewater students, our university offers an array of different programs to help students handle their physical and mental strain, and more students should utilize these options.
University Health & Counseling Services, for example, provide counseling to students in either individual or group sessions.
These group counseling sessions include groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Sexual Assault Survivors’ group, Women’s Therapy, and Understanding Self and Others.
According to the UHCS website, individual counseling can be used to help with stress management, anxiety, depression and a host of other stressors common to college students.
In cases of emergency, such as suicidal thoughts or other crisis situations, UHCS allows students to come in and have a same-day appointment
Students also can be counseled for free in the Winther Counseling Lab, which is staffed by students working toward their master’s degree in counselor education. The sessions are supervised by licensed counselor education faculty.
Students should use these programs without hesitation because, on top of helping manage stress levels, these programs are included in tuition costs whether you use them or not.
According to the university website, every undergraduate student pays a health center fee of $88.67 in his or her tuition. This fee allows UHCS to provide most medical and wellness services to students free of charge.
Another way the university helps students manage their stress is through the Williams Center.
A study by a group of researchers from the University of Illinois found exercise and physical activity improve general brain function, mainly the memory and learning sections.
Although the membership to the Williams Center is not free, the membership fee works out to about $16 a month. Other fitness memberships may cost anywhere from $25 to $50 a month. Along with cardio machines and weightlifting equipment, the Williams Center has programs such as indoor cycling, core workout classes and yoga.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, practicing yoga on a regular basis has been proven to help fight stress and depression.
The university offers classes for credit on yoga and stress management. Two different levels of yoga and stress management classes are offered, as well as a combined “yoga/stress reeducation” class. The course is described as helping students learn how to control their stress through certain yoga exercises.
Students struggling with stress and anxiety in college should know the long-term risks it can have on their body.
Chronic stress can increase blood pressure, which is a large risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Prolonged stress also makes the immune system less effective, making you more susceptible to disease, particularly infection. If not managed correctly, stress also can cause issues in the intestines or weight gain, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Most students attend college to give themselves more opportunities for a fulfilling life after graduation, so students need to use the resources available to keep themselves healthy to be able to enjoy the chances they make for themselves.
Students looking to schedule an appointment at UHCS can call (262) 472-1300, and to schedule an appointment in the Winther Counseling Lab, students should call (262) 472-2842.