STORY BY ELISE NIKOLIC
With midterms just around the corner, stress levels are increasing. The Drake University Counseling Center sees the most students starting at this time of year for all kinds of issues such as anxiety, homesickness and depression.
Dr. Mark Kloberdanz doesn’t think that school-related stress will ever go away, but that students need to manage it by studying in a way that works for the individual.
“There is stress now more than ever, especially in a college community. People are coming from high achieving families and feel the pressure trying to live up to that,” Kloberdanz said.
How can over-stressing while studying be prevented, besides not procrastinating? Brian Sanders, a psychology professor, explains that there isn’t one simple answer. He says that the secret could lie in location, whether that be in a library or a coffee shop.
“The real key is to be able to maintain focus and attention in order to get the most out of study time,” Sanders said.
The studying environment has a significant impact on concentration as well.
“It’s important to realize that other environmental factors such as light and temperature can influence how well someone studies,” Sanders said. “It’s a mix of noise, light, and temperature in terms of the environment that goes into making a good study location.”
Finding the right place for studying doesn’t happen unless students have time management. Time management and not procrastinating will lead to becoming your best, recommends professor Catherine Staub.
“Not only should this minimize stress, it helps with the learning process and enables students to produce their best work,” Staub said.
On the other hand, Kloberdanz thinks that students won’t stop procrastinating.
“That’s been going on forever and for some people that works for them; you’ll meet people that four hours of sleep works for them, but no one can run on an empty battery for too long,” Kloberdanz said.
Along with Staub and Sanders, Kloberdanz recommends staying on top of your work.
If students feel overly stressed, they should know that the counseling center is available.
“(Counselors) help keep them afloat. We are that third party that is confidential and has no bias,” Kloberdanz said.
Kloberdanz adds that the source of help doesn’t have to be the health center, either.
“The process of helping people get unstuck could be your professor, advisor or roommate. It’s all about surviving in a high (stress) world.”