Managing time reduces college-related stress

By Ashley Elder – aelder@unca.edu – Staff Writer | Feb. 11, 2015 |

Practicing time management helps students alleviate stress, said Rachael Freeman, Western Carolina University alumna.

“If you can’t handle the stress, then it’s not worth your time and money,” Freeman said.

According to the American College Health Association’s spring 2013 National College Health Assessment, 28.5 percent of students reported stress as the cause of disruption in their academics, whether it is a lower grade on a project or test, or dropping a course. Anxiety was a close second, with 19.7 percent of students affected by their worries. Close to 123,000 students at 153 schools participated in the survey.

“Someone on my boyfriend’s hall at Western has already left the university this week because she could not take the stresses of managing her time,” Freeman, who is now 28 years old, said. “When I was a student, the best thing that helped me was time management. Most kids have never managed their time. I had to basically make a schedule for work and study time. I would schedule in time to relax, too.”

Students need to develop a system that works for them, Freeman said.

“As a freshman, it took me a while to acclimate to the new life, and I was always kind of stressed out,” said Peter Furlong, a visiting philosophy professor at UNC Asheville. “In the beginning, I had issues with studying. I didn’t know how to study. I didn’t really know how to take notes either.”

Freeman said she felt unprepared for college as well.

“I don’t think high school prepared you for studying in college. You need to study before class so you can ask questions,” she said.

Alex Crowell, UNCA sophomore, had a problem self-motivating and self-regulating as a freshman. “I still have a tendency to push things off to the last minute,” she said.

Freeman said students need to get assignments done two days before they are due.

“When you go to college, everything is three times as hard,” she said.

Students’ focus shifts as they become upperclassmen, according to Furlong.

“You start stressing a whole lot more about jobs as you get older,” he said.

Freeman had an associate’s degree and spent five years trying to find a job. When she pursued a bachelor’s degree, she said she got a job before she graduated. She currently works full time as a catheterization lab technician at Haywood Regional Medical Center in Clyde.

“I think it’s well worth it to even have your degree in anything,” Freeman said. “It says you’re educated to an employer.”

Crowell returned home after her freshman year at Appalachian State University to figure out where she wanted to finish school. She said she has always liked academia, learning and being challenged. Crowell said getting a degree is worth the stress.

“I need to go back. I need to finish my education. I genuinely want that,” she said. “It’s enough to give you a leg up over people who don’t have that,” she said.

Crowell studies language, literature and international studies.

“Just find something you love and go to college for it if you can, because it makes you such a more appreciative and well-rounded individual,” she said.

 

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