A Dubious Honor

It recently came to my attention that UNC was ranked one of The Daily Beast’s 50 Most Stressful Colleges in America. The student in me went, “Yea, that seems about right.” Meanwhile, the wellness staff member in me said, “What?! That doesn’t really jive with wellness.” I decided to dig a little further.

My first step –  define stress. I won’t bore you with the details, but basically it all boils down to change. Stress is the body’s reaction to change- whether it’s good or bad. So, physically, to your body, getting a flat tire is the same as that exciting date on Friday night. However, there is one key (and obvious) difference, one helps and one hinders. Euestress, or positive stress, pushes you to do better (think the extra little push you need to get started on that paper) versus distress, which can actually be detrimental (think overwhelmed). I kind of doubted that The Daily Beast was looking at eustress.

My next step was to ask what they used to determine stress. Answer: cost, competitiveness, acceptance rate, engineering, and crime. That makes sense to me. Last year CWS did a survey of UNC students to find out what was stressing us, and well, we found (nearly) the same thing with academics, finances and relationships as the most common stressors for UNC students.

But why are we so stressed out? And that is where I turn to you guys.  My question is: Do you think we deserve this dubious honor? Or do you think we are more chill than The Daily Beast is giving us credit for?

Either way, whether we’re one of the most stressful colleges or not, college is stressful. So in parting, here are some quick relaxation and de-stressing tips to get you through your summer transition (and for all our 2011 graduates your transition out of college!):

  • Organize Yourself. Use your time and energy more efficiently.
  • Control Your Environment. Get rid of stress or get support for yourself.
  • Love Yourself. Give yourself positive feedback
  • Reward Yourself. Plan leisure activities into your life.
  • Exercise Your Body. Keep your body healthy and happy.
  • Relax. Take your mind off your stress.
  • Rest Yourself. There is only so much your mind can absorb at one time.
  • Feed Yourself / Do Not Poison Your Body. Eat a balanced diet.
  • Enjoy Yourself. Look for the humor in life when things don’t make sense.

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