By Lauren Mullen, Staff Writer
The University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) works to help ease the stress of students by providing a stress management course and counseling services.
As Reid Plimpton, a junior at the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF), sits at the front desk of the Fitness and Recreation Center, he finds it hard to balance school, work, and friends, which lead to very stressful days. With his hand on his forehead and his foot tapping rapidly, he starts a to-do list to get him through the week.
The Associated Press and a college TV station, mtvU, conducted a recent survey that reported four out of ten college students say they feel stressed often. One out of five students say they feel stressed most of the time.
The day in the life of a college student can be very demanding. Plimpton finds it hard to get all of his tasks done, which often results in lack of sleep. “Paying rent, working, my course load, and fitting in time to socialize are only a few things that cause stress in my life,” said Plimpton. “Then try finding time to exercise on top of that. Let’s just say I never get enough sleep.”
Finding ways to manage stress as a college student is important, making it necessary for students to learn techniques in college that are practices they can use for the rest of their lives. Dr. Dennis Kamholtz, a professor at UMF, created and teaches a stress management course for students.
Kamholtz sat in an education center classroom, calmly, as he prepared for his next class Tuesday afternoon. With a smile on his face he took the time to discuss his views on stress management at the university. “I think as a campus we create a lot of stress but we don’t really give anything to help relieve stress,” said Kamholtz. “I wish it was still a full semester class.” The class itself is seven weeks long.
Plimpton, who took Kamholtz’s class, gathered some simple techniques to manage stress. “I make to-do lists all the time and try breaking up tasks so I don’t have to do them all at once,” said Plimpton. “I also find time to fit in my hobbies and focus on not getting stressed out easily. If something comes along I just add it to the to-do list and get to it when I can.”
Kamholtz hopes that students who take his class, and any student who is feeling overwhelmed, realize that management is vital. “Most important is to actually see that managing stress is important,” said Kamholtz. “It is just as important as fitting in time to eat and exercise.”
Plimpton, just like many other college students, takes advantage of free time throughout the day to work on at homework to avoid build up. “I am lucky enough to be able to pick away at my homework sometimes at my work-study job,” said Plimpton. “If the fitness center is not busy and I am not working with a customer, I can glance over my notes for a test I have to study for. I definitely take advantage of that time.”
UMF has resources to help students who are feeling stressed. The Center for Student Development (CSD) offers counseling services to any student who needs methods to help manage stress and time management. There are also workshops held on a regular basis sponsored by the CSD.
For more information, students can visit the CSD website at http://csd.umf.maine.edu/.