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Students talk about ways they manage the stress of classes

Photo by Liv Klassen | Photo Editor

Spring break is only a couple of weeks away, meaning that summer is quickly approaching. Between midterms, Relays and the anticipation of warmer weather, students at Drake University have felt a wide range of emotions.

“So far this semester has been pretty easy for me,” said Jacob Lish, a senior studying environmental science and sustainability. “With the exception of a few projects, it’s all been going really well.”

Lish said last semester was harder for him because on top of classes, he also was more involved in other organizations, including being the president of the Drake Environmental Action League. 

It has since calmed down for him as he has passed positions onto other students in his organizations and is now only a few months away from graduation this spring.

“In order to destress when I have to, I’ve started doing yoga a lot more often, which is really important to practice mindfulness and movement in general,” Lish said. “I also do therapy at the Counseling Center. I love the Counseling Center.”

Overall for Lish, his final semester at Drake has been easy-going and he is excited for what the rest of the year has in store for him. 

For junior Richard Lock, a music education major, things are a bit harder. The last couple [of] semesters have been packed.

“This is the easiest semester of college – with that said, I’m taking 19 credit hours,” Lock said.

Lock said even with his packed and stressful schedule he is still behind on credits and his work is not yet finished. He fell behind his sophomore year and now is catching up.

“Because of the path I’m on now, I can finally graduate on time,” Lock said.

Even though his class schedule and work are a lot, he is heavily involved in multiple organizations on campus including D+ Improv, Brocal Chords, Poker Club and both a professional and social fraternity. 

“What relaxes me are the activities I’m a part of. If they weren’t fun, I wouldn’t do them,” he said. “I don’t see them as another thing on my schedule. I see them as time for me to relax.”

Katelyn Ellinger, a first-year majoring in finance and pre-law, is taking 18 credits this semester and said she regrets it. All her classes this semester are STEM-based, which she said she wanted to try and knock out right away for her major, even though she’s not a fan of STEM classes.

She has managed to find time to relax and destress as well, saying her friends and family have been great support systems for her.

“I went over to my friend’s house this weekend and I got to pet her dog. It was the best destresser in the entire world,” Ellinger said.

Another self-care tip from Lish, Lock and Ellinger is sleep. They all agree that getting good sleep and knowing when to stop cramming work has benefited them all and helped keep them going through the semester.

They all emphasize the importance of taking time to yourself and finding any activity that helps calm and destress.

“The concept of ‘Drake Busy’ is extremely harmful, do not buy into it. That is the school telling you that your mental health doesn’t matter,” Lock said. “Do not worry. The rest of the student population is feeling just as stressed as you.”

The Drake Counseling Center is free for students who are stressed, overwhelmed, or struggling with anything. Students looking to book an appointment or who need more information can call (515) 271-3864.


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