As students are working toward finishing papers and projects and preparing for final exams, they are experiencing higher levels of stress related to their work load and college life. It is important to note that some stress can be useful as it can give students a boost of motivation which can lead to increased productivity and performance. However, this increase in stress can also push them "over the top" and lead to decreased productivity and performance. The relationship between stress/arousal and performance is explained by the Yerkes-Dodson Law. The bottom line is that at this time of year most students need to be reminded to engage in effective stress management, which can help draw them back into a healthier and more stress productive stress level (which can also help them maximize their performance).
As with many aspects of life during (and after) college, balance is important. Effectively utilizing resources is also important. This may be a good time to remind your student(s) that there are many resources within the CSB/SJU community that can offer support to them at their most stressful times. It is important for students to take the initiative to seek assistance (or even ask for help) from staff such as resident directors, faculty residents, coaches, members of the monastic community and even fellow students. Other supportive community members include professors, academic advisers, counselors and health care providers.
Stress kits have been created by the CSB/SJU Counseling and Health Promotion and CSB Health Services staff to raise awareness of effective stress management and to provide some items that promote wellness. These kits are available at the CSB Health Center (lower level Lottie) and the SJU Personal and Professional Development Center (Mary Hall 10).
If your student(s) needs to talk to a professional counseling staff member, please encourage them to contact the CSB office (320-363-5605) or the SJU office (320-363-3236) of Counseling and Health Promotion (http://www.csbsju.edu/CHP.htm). If they seem reluctant to call to schedule an appointment, you can also encourage them to utilize our Walk-In Wednesday program 1-3 p.m. each Wednesday of the academic year.