Stress for university students skyrocketing



A recent study by Headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation showed over 80 per cent of the students surveyed suffered from stress.

The study surveyed 3,303 participants from forty Universities and thirty Tafes, with ages ranging from 16 to 50 years. The results proving that students at any age can suffer from stress due to the pressures of studying and it is important to actively be on top of this.

Jing Lee, 23, who is studying a Bachelor of Laws at Adelaide University, “I constantly feel stressed to make sure I pass and get good grades. There is also the stress of having to juggle work and pay my bills on time”.

The study found that high numbers of students felt stressed and anxious. Resulting in over 70 per cent of students rating their mental health between poor and fair. Furthermore two- thirds of this per cent reported to have high to very high physiological distress within the last twelve months.

Monique Peters, 51, a mature age student who studied Psychology online at Swinburne University definitely felt the pressures of studying.

“After the loss of my husband I decided to go back to studying.  I had not studied for quite some time so going back to the books was extremely hard at times” says Ms Peters. 

The juggling act was the stressful element “Finding time to study was sometimes difficult and this I found quite stressful, the worry of having assignments done on time and to a high standard also weighed heavily on my mind.  Whilst I enjoyed learning about different things I found balancing a social life, work life and studying was sometimes quite difficult” says Ms Peters.

“To deal with the stress of studying I found getting into a routine was somewhat helpful, making sure I had time away from study was also important as this gave me time to clear my head,” says Ms Peters.

Pauline Masters is a practising Natural Therapist and owner of the Adelaide Anxiety and Stress Clinic. She is also a certified Rapid Eye Technician who takes on all types of clients including students to help overcome these issues.

Ms Masters explains that Rapid Eye Therapy is a ground breaking treatment that can help students at any stage of their study to get on top of feelings of pressure and stress. Developed by Francine Shapiro in 2001, the therapy focuses on the client attending to emotionally disturbing material in brief doses while focusing on an external stimulus. Often the therapist uses lateral eye movements as the external stimulus. The therapy is designated to alleviate the distress that is often attached to stressful or traumatic memories.

“It only takes one to two sessions” says Ms Masters who regularly uses this therapy on a range of clients. 

Ms Masters explains that the driving force is fear when it comes to stress related problems, “All stress comes from fear, and it could be a fear of failure, a fear of the unknown or of not being capable of something”.

And what is the best advice for a student dealing with stress “Good time management is a start because that will put you in control”, say’s Masters.

“Self talk is one of the most powerful tools. Whatever you think in your head is what you believe and you react accordingly. So give yourself positive self talk”, says Ms Masters.

Ms Masters advises that these treatments coupled with proper exercise, rest and healthy eating habits all contribute to the success of a student.

This recent survey showed the numbers of students that are feeling stressed is extremely high, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Ms Master’s positive ‘self talk’ method, managing your time well and having good habits will all contribute to a student being able to manage their stress better and enviably accomplish something they can keep forever.









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