Students become frazzled as the second semester shifts into gear. Different activities, classes, schedules and jobs are causing the stress levels at Castleton to vary from student to student. Some students have massive tension while others could not be more relaxed.Sophomore Kimberly Vincent is stressed out because she went from taking 12 credits to 18 credits, two of those classes are writing intensive. She has even switched her major to communication. She says her biggest problem is procrastination.
“Sometimes I have my roommate yell at me so I will stop procrastinating,” said Vincent.
History professor Jonathan Spiro thinks that freshmen are less stressed because they realize they can handle everything.
“Part of college is learning how to deal with stress, time management and being an adult,” said Spiro in between mouthfuls of his sandwich. Spiro says his door is open for any student who needs help or needs to chat.
Freshman Jake Colby has more stress sitting on his shoulders than he did during the fall semester. Colby now has more big projects to do in his theatre arts major and less free time to relax.
“I have only four days of classes, but they are all smooshed together,” said Colby while just looking over the screen of his laptop while doing homework.
Homework has a lot to do with the stress levels rising among students. Brittney Lechner a MDS elementary education/special education major is overwhelmed with the amount of reading she is required to do this semester. Lechner claims she can only read so fast. On top of that she is a member of Peer Advocates for C.H.A.N.G.E, which she really enjoys being apart of. But she is working, taking seven classes and is the secretary for the Vocal Unrest group. She attempts to keep the stress to a minimum by having a to-do list to keep her schedule organized.
Organization and planning ahead is how professor Flo Keyes keeps her English students from getting overwhelmed. She gives out a clear syllabus so they can plan ahead and start the heavy projects while doing the light ones. Keyes encourages students not to wait until the last minute to do the work. Not all teachers have a clear syllabus though, and will add assignments to the list.
Kenzi McCain, a history major with a licensure in secondary education, feels that some professors pile on the work forgetting that students have other classes. McCain says she does not have time for anything except for classes and homework.
“Trying to manage any social life, any kind of relationship, and other activities is just madness right now,” said McCain while multitasking with dance team work and reading a packet for class. “I already have two research papers and a midterm to do over February break and that is just for two of my classes.” She tries to get ahead of her classes but it is hard when they give other assignments that were not part of the schedule.
Stephanie Terry uses stress to help her. She added 14 hours to her work schedule, while also taking a math and a science class on top of her social work and sociology majors and is the head of the mentoring program.
“I enjoy the stress, it motivates me to get things done so that way I do not have stress anymore. It is the kind of stress I can handle,” said Terry while pacing back and forth.
Professor John Klein and professor Gail Regan of the psychology department agree that they see students becoming more stressed out throughout the time of the semester rather than between them. They agree that the most stressful time is during the weeks before and after break.
“When I was in graduate school a way I used to release my stress was through running and working out,” Klein said.
For Kenny McIlroy playing on the school’s baseball team relieves stress.
“I have never been more at ease, probably because I take all my stress out by playing baseball,” said McIlroy.
But sometimes things just go wrong.
Regan explains to her students that if something extraordinary happens to let her know and she will see what she can do to help. While math professor Patricia Gordon suggests that they go and ask for help before class.
Stress levels seem to vary depending who on the student, how they handle it, and what other activities they participate in along with classes. For those students who are stressed, they should take advantage of everything the college has to offer them to help take some of it away and go to professors if needed.